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HFES invites all students to participate in the "Mobile Health Applications for Consumers" Design Competition in conjunction with the 2019 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care.


  1. Showcase the application of human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) methods and design principles to the design of a mobile health application for consumers (healthcare recipients) or their nonprofessional support network (informal caregivers and community).

  2. Showcase how the HF/E approach to such an application can lead to a useful, usable, and satisfying user experience while simultaneously improving patient outcomes such as knowledge, safety, adherence, or health.

Who May Submit 
All entries should come from students enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree-granting program. All team members must be students at the time of the 2019 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care. Entries may come from individuals or teams of no more than four students. Involvement of a faculty adviser is permitted, though only students should be named in the entry.

Applications should be designed for use by nonprofessional healthcare consumers and/or their support network. Such users include patients and informal caregivers such as family members and friends. Applications designed for use by clinical professionals or other health system employees are out of scope for this competition. Applications should be mobile health software accessible via a mobile device, with an option to integrate it with hardware (e.g., wearable activity tracker, Bluetooth blood pressure cuff) and/or online services (e.g., Google Maps, Facebook).

Competition Timeline and Entry Procedures
Round 1 – Notice of intent to particiate (Due October 15, 2018)
All prospective contestants must submit a notice of intent to participate prior to starting any work on the competition. The intent to participate form can be downloaded here. Submission of the notice to participate must be completed by October 15, 2018.

Round 2 – Submission of final entries (Due January 13, 2019)
Contestants verified for eligibility and approved to participate should submit a software prototype (either static or dynamic) along with a design brief of no more than 10 pages explaining the impetus for the application, the problem(s) to be addressed/solved, the targeted use case(s), the product development workflow and the design and iteration approach used, including how HF/E and usability principles were incorporated. The brief should also include a description of the business viability and a competitor analysis. Citations may be included in addition to the 10-page brief and students may upload a link to online content illustrating the application; however, online content may not be altered following the submission deadline, or the submission will be disqualified. A panel of judges will review materials.

Final entries will be accepted between December 1, 2018, and January 13, 2019.

Round 3 – Finalist presentations (March 24, 2019)
Finalists (usually three) will be selected based on judging criteria and each will be awarded a certificate and $200 prize. Each finalist team will have the opportunity to work with a coach, a professional software designer. Finalists will give a podium presentation on their design at the International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care on Monday, March 24, 2019. One or more team members may present.

A new panel of judges will be formed to review the presentation based on judging criteria, below. However, finalists are strongly recommended to address any feedback received from earlier reviews. Note: judges are not provided the 10-page brief and must therefore be provided sufficient information to understand and judge the quality of the design.

All contestants must commit to at least one representative attending and presenting at the 2019 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care if their entry is selected as a finalist.

Judging Criteria and Process
All applications will be judged along five dimensions:

  1. Assessment of and alignment with user needs through appropriate methods (e.g., contextual inquiry)

  2. Application of HF/E methods

  3. Application of HF/E design principles

  4. Use of an iterative design process involving formative evaluation and testing

  5. Description of application need and business viability, including market niche

  • Free symposium registration for one presenter from each finalist team.

  • $200 honorarium awarded to each finalist.

  • $500 additional prize to the winning individual/team, to be announced during the poster reception.

  • Certificates for finalists and winning individual/team.

For answers to any questions regarding the competition, please contact Dr. Mike Rayo at rayo.3@osu.edu.