Our most recent HealthVault release dropped to production right at the end of November, which left us with a bit of an awkward period of time before starting in earnest on the next one. With hundreds of different apps connecting to HealthVault, we always find an issue or two that doesn’t show up in our internal test passes, so we schedule in time for a “Quick Fix” release to clean those up.* Between that and upcoming holidays, it seemed a perfect opportunity to do something fun with the team.
Thus was born the 2013 HealthVault Team App Challenge --- a resurrection of an event we haven’t done for a few years, where we form teams to create health and wellness apps that we think are missing in the market, explore some new or interesting technology, or frankly are just fun. These are personal projects, not part of HealthVault, so there’s a ton of flexibility.
We ran the competition through December and early January --- and on Friday afternoon we had our demo and voting session, complete with awesome home-brew beer made by the multi-talented HV operations team (is that Seattle enough for you?).
We ended up with 16 entries, and of course, the winners were pretty great:
But what was really amazing was the depth of the field --- I was impressed with every single one. In addition to the winner, we saw:
I was proud of the idea behind my entry --- a tool to help find identify patterns of behavior that lead to negative outcomes like stress or low energy (feel free to play with it here) … but it was crystal clear that I’d better spend some weekend time refreshing my UI skills because the state of the art is leaving me in the dust!
Many times over the years I’ve been writing this blog I’ve said how proud I am to be part of the HealthVault team. The folks here care deeply about what they do, and bring a passion to the challenge that’s unmatched anywhere I’ve ever been. Helping people live better really is a great way to spend the day, and it’s great to have an event like the App Challenge keep that in focus.
GO TEAM HEALTHVAULT!
* What constitutes a legitimate “quick fix” is always up for debate … the team often accuses me of trying to characterize my feature requests as quick fixes. ;)