We all want the most advanced medical treatments, but few truly understand what goes into making medical advancements possible. Clinical research plays a vital role in the process of bringing new treatments to patients and advancing clinical care. However, despite its importance, there are multiple challenges associated with clinical research, with participant engagement and retention being one of them. 

To combat this problem, the Patient Engagement App Challenge is asking developers from across the globe to submit apps that educate, engage, and empower participants enrolled in clinical studies. Using the Health IT movement as a launching pad, developers can help transform the clinical trial experience for patients by using software to improve patient education, communication, scheduling, medication adherence and more! 


Who can enter?

  • Individuals (who have reached the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry); Teams of eligible individuals; Organizations (up to 50 employees)

  • Organizations with over 50 employees may compete for the non-cash Large Organization Recognition Award.



Content: Submitted apps must focus on maximizing engagement and value for patients enrolled in clinical trials.

Platforms:  Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone, Windows PC, Mac OS, web and mobile web. (Your app must function on at least one of these platforms/devices.)

Supplemental Material: You must submit a demo video (hosted on YouTube or Vimeo) that walks through the main functionality of the app via screencast or video. You must also submit at least one image/screenshot of your app.

New & Existing Apps: Apps may be newly created or pre-existing. If you are submitting an existing app (developed prior to this competition), it must include new features and functionality, added after November 4, 2013 in order to be eligible.

Hackathon Sponsors


$24,000 in prizes

Grand Prize

$7,500 cash prize.

Reimbursement of airfare for one (valued at $550), one night stay at Mirage hotel (valued at $200), and a Gold Pass (Main Conference and Exhibit April 1-2, 2014) to 2014 Partnerships in Clinical Trials conference in Las Vegas, NV (valued at ~$3,500). Business model mentor session from EnlightBio (valued at $5,000). Session may include activities such as competitive landscape analysis, funding and strategic partner analysis, etc.


$2,000 cash prize. Reimbursement of airfare for one (valued at $550), one night stay at Mirage hotel (valued at $200), and a Gold Pass (Main Conference and Exhibit April 1-2, 2014) to 2014 Partnerships in Clinical Trials conference in Las Vegas, NV (valued at ~$3,500).

Popular Choice Award

Large Organization Recognition Award

Non-cash, recognition only for Large Organizations

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

  1. Take a peek at the Official Rules to confirm you meet all eligibility requirements.
  2. “Register” to access the submission form and start your draft.
  3. Visit Current State of Patient Engagement page to brush up on engagement challenges clinical trials face, as well as opportunities and ideas for improvement.
  4. Create a working app that meets the requirements below, or update an existing app.
  5. Create a demonstration video and take some screenshots of your app.
  6. Provide a way for us to access your app.
  7. Submit!


Abbe Steel

Abbe Steel
Vice President of Patient & Physician Services at UBC

Jonathan Behr

Jonathan Behr
Vice President of New Ventures at Enlight Biosciences

Tom Krohn

Tom Krohn
Director of Clinical Open Innovation at Eli Lilly and Company

Anthony Primavera

Anthony Primavera
Director of Web Services at iirusa.com and ibclifesciences.com

Rahlyn Gossen

Rahlyn Gossen
Founder of Rebar Interactive

Naveen Selvadurai

Naveen Selvadurai
Co-founder of Foursquare

Judging Criteria

  • Quality of the Idea/Vision
    Includes the degree to which the app provides a unique, clear idea/vision to meet the challenge.
  • Visual Presentation and Implementation
    Includes visual appeal and completeness of implementation. Is the hierarchy and density of information user-friendly and digestible? How complete, robust and practical is the idea?
  • Potential Impact
    Includes the extent to which the app may result in greater engagement for patients enrolled in clinical research.
  • Patient Value
    Includes the extent to which the app brings value to patients and helps them meet a need while enrolled in a clinical trial.

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