The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in collaboration with the Chamber of Digital Commerce announces a health standards and data innovation Code-a-Thon.  Code-a-Thon contestants will use open source distributed ledger technology and health-specific standards to address one of the following health IT Tracks:

  1. Identity Management and APIs: Demonstrate the use of blockchain to support the identity management requirements for APIs for both provider-to-provider and patient-mediated exchange.
  2. Metadata Tagging and Policy Expression: Demonstrate the use of blockchain for security metadata and tagging to manage access, provide auditing and provenance information.
  3. Data Aggregation and Linkage: Use of blockchain technology to securely aggregate, link and share patient data to the destination of their choice.

Concepts should be innovative. This should be a forward-thinking project that enhances interoperability and focuses on demonstrating the potential to seamlessly incorporate blockchain solutions into existing health IT Systems.

Contestants will access open data sources for test data and leverage openly available blockchain and health IT tools and resources.

Winners of the Code-a-Thon will be announced at the Washington, D.C. Blockchain Summit and select winners may be invited to present their submission at a subsequent ONC webinar.


Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to win a prize, teams:

  1. Shall have registered to participate in the Code-a-Thon under the rules promulgated by ONC.
  2. Shall have complied with all the stated requirements of the Code-a-Thon.
  3. All works presented to the judges must be created at the Code-a-Thon unless it is publicly available under a Creative Commons or other comparable open source license. This means that you can brainstorm app ideas and sketch wireframes ahead of time but all the actual code for your project must be written at the event.
  4. In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  5. Shall not be an HHS employee.
  6. May not be a federal entity or federal employee acting within the scope of their employment. We recommend that all non-HHS federal employees consult with their agency Ethics Official to determine whether the federal ethics rules will limit or prohibit the acceptance of a COMPETES Act prize.
  7. Federal grantees may not use federal funds to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award.
  8. Federal contractors may not use federal funds from a contract to develop COMPETES Act challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a COMPETES Act challenge submission.
  9. All individuals and entities must meet the eligibility requirements.
  • An individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used federal facilities or consulted with federal employees during the Code-a-Thon if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the Code-a-Thon on an equitable basis.
  • Contestants must agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from participation in this prize contest, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise. Contestants must also agree to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to Challenge activities.
  • Contestants must comply with the Code-a-Thon Code of Conduct.


General Submission Requirements

In order for a submission to be eligible to win this Challenge, it must meet the following requirements:

  1. No HHS or ONC logo – The product must not use HHS’ or ONC’s logos or official seals and must not claim endorsement.
  2. Functionality/Accuracy – A product may be disqualified if it fails to function as expressed in the description provided by the Participant, or if it provides inaccurate or incomplete information.
  3. Security – Submissions must be free of malware. Participant agrees that ONC may conduct testing on the product to determine whether malware or other security threats may be present. ONC may disqualify the submission if, in ONC’s judgment, it may damage government or others’ equipment or operating environment.

Hackathon Sponsors


$15,000 in prizes

First Prize – $5,000

Up to $15,000 will be awarded, with the following ceilings on the number of prizes of each amount.

Second Prize – $2,000 each (3)

Up to $15,000 will be awarded, with the following ceilings on the number of prizes of each amount.

Third Prize – $1,000 each (3)

Up to $15,000 will be awarded, with the following ceilings on the number of prizes of each amount.

Honorable mentions – $500 each (2)

Up to $15,000 will be awarded, with the following ceilings on the number of prizes of each amount.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

The event is limited to the first 150 registrants with a maximum of 100 contestants; observers are welcomed.  Registration for both contestants and observers will remain open until Tuesday, March 7, 2017, at 11:59 p.m., EST. All registrants will receive a confirmation email upon completion.

Check in at the Registration table on Tuesday, March 14, 2016, will begin at 8:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time (EST); team formations will begin at 9:00 am.

Please note: You will need to show your registration confirmation at the registration table.

To register, please visit:


Ted Tanner

Ted Tanner
Co-founder and CTO PokitDok

Jonathan Holt

Jonathan Holt
Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of SeqTech Diagnostics, LLC Founder and CEO of TranSendX, LLC

Greg Shannon

Greg Shannon
Chief Scientist for the CERT Division at the Software Engineering Institute Carnegie Mellon University

Debbie Bucci

Debbie Bucci
IT Architect and Blockchain Initiative Lead, Office of the National Coordinator

Hector Rodriguez, MBA

Hector Rodriguez, MBA
Microsoft WW Health CISO

Judging Criteria

  • Technical Competence and Capabilities/Weight 35%
    The demonstration addresses the primary goals of the Code-a-Thon and exhibits interoperability with existing technologies.
  • Use of Data To Provide Effective Outcomes/Weight 20%
    The demonstration was presented in a way that is easy to understand, visually appealing, and will help drive understanding of current trends as well as recommendations.
  • Creativity/Innovation/Weight 20%
    The project exceeds expectations through its incorporation of creative design elements and innovative capabilities.
  • Valuable Information and Insights Regarding Data/Weight 25%
    Team identifies gaps in standards and utilizes blockchain to demonstrate how the technology may be used to enhance/improve existing privacy and security functions, and share data across the health ecosystem.

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