HHS unveils tech competition to reduce childhood obesity

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The Health Resources and Services Administration at HHS will launch a technology competition focused on childhood obesity prevention Jan. 2.

HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, identified reducing childhood obesity as a priority for the department, according to a competition notice HRSA released Sept. 26. The challenge, organized by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau at HRSA, invites coders, researchers and public health experts to develop low-cost, scalable technologies that promote healthy weight for low-income children and families.

The challenge comprises three phases: design, development and scaling. Potential focus areas include promoting access to healthy, affordable food and identifying innovative ways to increase physical activity.

"While existing apps and tools address individual behaviors, such as exercise and nutrition, their uptake in underserved communities is limited because they are not tailored to the needs, challenges and barriers to healthy weight in these communities," the notice reads. "The goal of this challenge is to make technology work for the family as a unit within the reality of their larger community environment."

HRSA will award the winning developer a prize of up to $150,000. Winners will be announced March 1, 2019.  

Click here to view the full notice.

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