San Diego’s West Wireless Health Institute has awarded a $10,000 incentive prize to a Rhode Island software developer who answered a challenge the institute issued six months ago in conjunction with the Veterans Affairs Innovation Initiative (VAi2). The institute’s challenge called for development of a cost-effective wireless device or mobile app that enables VA patients and their healthcare providers to share pertinent patient care data.
The institute issued its award to Steven Palmer, a Vietnam Veteran and melanoma survivor, for an iPhone app he developed for use in a monthly self-examination for signs of the deadly skin cancer. The app enables users to collect precise color images of skin irregularities, lesions, and moles. Users can compare images of specific irregularities with images from previous exams, making it easier to see any changes, such as the size, shape, border regularity, or coloration of a lesion.
Palmer’s app, the Veterans Melanoma Early Warning System, also enables users to transmit images to a dermatology clinic for expert review, and even to schedule an appointment.
In a statement issued yesterday, institute CEO Don Casey says, “When we launched the developers challenge with VAi2, we wanted to spur exactly this type of breakthrough thinking to enable great outcomes at a much lower human and financial cost.”
Palmer, who received the Purple Heart in Vietnam, was treated for melanoma at the Providence, RI, Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He has been writing workflow software for the financial industry since 1974, when he received his Doctor of Science degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
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