wins PCORI clinical trial matchmaking app competition

In the years since the Affordable Care Act birthed the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the group has committed resources to lowering barriers between those who participate in and run clinical trials. The latest element of this initiative has now come to fruition, with PCORI naming as the winner of its Matchmaking App Challenge.' win will net it $100,000, 40% of which is tied to the availability of a responsive mobile website or free app on iTunes or Google Play. A 13-person panel--which included Eli Lilly's ($LLY) Joseph Kim--named the open-source the best of the 17 submissions because of how simple it is to use. The website allows patients to submit questions such as "How does Adderall interact with recreational drug use?" in the hope of sparking new research projects.

The community is currently small and the website pared down. Outside developers can improve and expand the platform, potentially giving patients new ways to learn about their own health. "I believe strongly that we need a health data commons. Our health data should not be locked up in individual fiefdoms, but patients should be able to donate it to public research in the same way we can opt in to be organ donors," Sean Ahrens, the creator of, told the PCORI blog.

University of Michigan's WellSpringboard and CareHubs' Partners in Research grabbed second and third place, respectively. WellSpringboard was also recognized in PCORI's 2013 competition, which awarded the medical research crowdfunding app first place in its prototype category.

- read the press release
- and accompanying blog post