Date:  June 14, 2013




Winners of IOM-NAE 'Go Viral to Improve Health' Announced; Collegiate Challenge Showcases Innovative Apps


WASHINGTON -- A team of students from Texas A&M University who created a new mobile app called H-Radar, which tracks and reports nearby infectious diseases, won first place and a $10,000 prize in this year's "Go Viral to Improve Health: IOM-NAE Health Data Collegiate Challenge."  A team of students from the University of California, Los Angeles; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Harvard University; and University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey won second place, while a team from the University of Iowa took third.


Thirty-nine teams registered for the third nationwide collegiate challenge from the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering.  The annual contest calls on undergraduate and graduate students to use health data to design web-based or mobile applications that take on pressing health issues and provide active solutions.  The challenge promotes interdisciplinary research and encourages students pursuing degrees in health professions, engineering, computer sciences, or related fields to work together.


H-Radar is a cross-platform app that utilizes anonymous health data, a cell phone's global positioning system, and real-time notifications to allow people to link to information and report infectious diseases and symptoms.  Its developers are Che-Hao Chen, Chien-An Chen, Szu-Wei Wang, Vincent Chun-Wen Chen, and Jia-Hao Fan.  Their winning app can be explored at


ZeNan Chang, Chi Feng, Allen Lin, Sourav Sinha, and Helena Zhang won second place and a $5,000 prize for their mobile app Flu-Trackr, which displays knowledge about flu vaccinations and outbreaks.  The app offers a flu-trend monitor, vaccine center locator, and an interactive tool to track your vaccination records.  Watch a demo of the team’s app at


Third place and a $3,000 prize went to Nicolas Aguilar, Lucas Johnson, Anthony Pham, Kelsey Smithart, and Michael Tiedman for SafePlace, an app intended to make users more aware of the chemicals and associated hazards that may be in their surroundings.  The app features an interactive tool to help with preventative measures and provides users with direct access to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.  View a demo of the app at


"The apps developed by this year's winners demonstrate how data can be harnessed in innovative and user-friendly ways to identify health problems and create solutions that make a difference," said IOM President Harvey V. Fineberg.


"These students have developed applications that directly improve our quality of life," said NAE President Charles M. Vest.  "Their achievements showcase the power of interdisciplinary research and the impact that engineering has on the health of our nation." 


The prizes for this year's challenge winners were supported by a generous $15,000 gift from the Heritage Provider Network (HPN) and Richard Merkin, the president and CEO of HPN.  "We are proud to once again have sponsored the Go Viral prize together with the National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine, which incentivizes our nation's best and brightest college students to band together to solve health care challenges facing our country," Merkin said.


The Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Engineering along with the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council make up the National Academies.  They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter.  For more information, visit 



Jennifer Walsh, Senior Media Relations Officer, Institute of Medicine

202-334-2138; e-mail

Nicole Flores, Program Associate for Media/Public Relations, National Academy of Engineering