Blockchain in Healthcare Code-A-Thon

March 14-15, 2017, Washington, DC

Winners Announced

First Place: Team Health Passport

Second Place: Team Nucleus Health & Team TMI

Third Place: Team MCDC, Team Mesh Health, Team D3 Health

Honorable Mention: Team 2C Data, Team Divvy, Team MedTech MD Chain, Team Patient Physician Network

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.

Important Dates

  • Registration period begins: February 8, 2017
  • Registration period ends:  March, 7, 2017 (11:59 pm EST)
  • Code-a-Thon: March 14, 2017, 8am to 12:30pm on March 15

Code-a-Thon Location

The Fisher Colloquium in the Rafik B. Hariri Building,
Georgetown University Campus
37TH & O Streets., N.W.
Washington, DC.


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

  • First Prize – $5,000
  • Second Prize – $2,000 each
  • Third Prize – $1,000 each
  • Honorable mentions – $500 each


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.

Register Here

Code-a-Thon Description

Background Of Code-a-Thon

In September 2016, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) announced the “Use of Blockchain in Health IT and Health-Related Research” Challenge. The challenge solicited white papers that investigated the relationship between blockchain technology and its use in Health IT and health-related research which was later used to inform the “Use of Blockchain in Healthcare and Health-Related Research Workshop” later that month. The purpose of the workshop was to convene federal, public, and private stakeholders to receive briefings from federal and industry leaders utilizing blockchain and/or alternative distributed ledger technologies. Contestants heard presentations from eight of the blockchain challenge winners, who shared successes, and new ideas generated around blockchain technology solutions in the healthcare ecosystem. One of the next steps identified during the workshop was to support demonstrations and trial implementations to determine whether blockchain had a place in Health IT and, if so, ascertain its role.

Contestant Teams

Contestants will be asked to form teams that consist of 2-5 contestants; there will be a maximum of 20 teams eligible to participate. Although informal formation of teams is encouraged prior to the event, contestants will officially determine their team and sign-up the morning of the event.  Modification to team make-up may occur based on team skill make-up at the direction of the competition host to ensure all of those wanting to be a contestant have the opportunity to participate.

Demonstration Requirements

  1. Contestants must make any source code created accessible to the public via Github;
  2. The author(s) must allow modifications and derivations of the work under the solution’s original name;
  3. No person, group, or field of endeavor can be denied access to the solution;
  4. The rights attached to a project’s solution must not depend on the solution being part of a particular software distribution;
  5. The project must be online, interactive and meet the goals and objectives provided in this document;
  6. The project slides must include links to documentation of all data sources and open source tools used.

Additional Information

General Conditions: ONC reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Code-a-Thon, or any part of it, for any reason, at ONC’s sole discretion.

Access: Submitters must keep the submission and its component elements public, open, and available for anyone (i.e., not on a private or limited access setting) on GitHub.

Open Source License: Winning submissions must use the open source MIT License.

Representation, Warranties and Indemnification

By entering the Code-a-Thon, each applicant represents, warrants and covenants as follows:

  1. Participant is the sole author, creator, and owner of the Submission;
  2. The Submission is not the subject of any actual or threatened litigation or claim;
  3. The Submission does not and will not violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other legal rights of any third party;
  4. The Submission does not and will not contain any harmful computer code (sometimes referred to as “malware,” “viruses,” or “worms”); and
  5. The Submission, and contestants’ use of the Submission, does not and will not violate any applicable laws or regulations, including, without limitation, HIPAA, or applicable export control laws and regulations of the U.S. and other jurisdictions.

If the submission includes any third party works (such as third party content or open source code), participant must be able to provide, upon request, documentation of all appropriate licenses and releases for such third party works. If participant cannot provide documentation of all required licenses and releases, ONC reserves the right, at  its sole discretion, to disqualify the applicable submission.

Contestants must indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Federal Government from and against all third party claims, actions, or proceedings of any kind and from any and all damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses relating to or arising from participant’s submission or any breach or alleged breach of any of the representations, warranties, and covenants of participant hereunder.

ONC reserves the right to disqualify any submission that it deems, in its discretion, to violate these Official Rules, Terms & Conditions.

Eligibility and Submission Requirements

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.

Evaluation Criteria

There will be five Judges, each with expertise in Government-Wide Health Policy, Standards, and Information Technology. Judges will award a score to each submission. The winner(s) of the competition will be decided based on the highest average overall score. Judges will only participate in judging competitions for which they do not have any conflicts of interest.

A panel of judges will assess each solution based on the following 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.

Example Scorecards:


Contestants will access open data sources for test data, as well as blockchain and health IT tools and resource. Suggested resources include, but are not limited to, the following:


Data and Program Reports

Area Health Resources Files

MCBS Public Use File

Sovrin Sandbox

HSPC Sandbox

Cerner Sandbox

Epic Sandbox

Allscripts Sandbox

FHIR Server

eCQM Services

Synthetic patient generator


MITRE logo

FHIR Server:
eCQM Services:
Synthetic patient generator:



Electronic Postmark® (EPM™) Overview

What is it?

The USPS Electronic Postmark API is a secure web service which provides a time/date stamp and a unique hash (the EPM) which acts to prove the state of electronic data (such as a medical record or a consent decree) at a point in time, and which can then be validated at a later point in time as unaltered (i.e. the same medical document or the same consent decree) since its original date of “postmarking”.

What it does?

The Electronic Postmark System provides the means to digitally sign and timestamp various types of electronic data through an official USPS authority. This process results in the creation of a USPS Electronic Postmark (EPM). While many forms of secure communication provide security for electronic data in transit, the EPM provides authenticity, data integrity, and non-repudiation for electronic data in transit and at rest. This allows the data to be stored and/or transmitted with assurance of integrity and a verifiable audit trail.

EPM Service

The EPM service supports both EPM generation and EPM validation operations. An EPM can generally be applied to most forms of electronic data. The EPM can be used to verify the integrity and authenticity of electronic data. When generating an EPM, EPM data is returned to the EPM service client. When validating an EPM, an indicator of EPM validity is returned to the EPM service client.

USPS EPM Service SDK Interface Document v1H

USPS Presentation








Tad TurnerTed Tanner
Co-founder and CTO

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

Greg ShannonGreg Shannon

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

Debbie BucciDebbie Bucci

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

Hector RodriguezHector Rodriguez, MBA

Microsoft WW Health CISO

Blockchain in Healthcare Code-A-Thon

Debbie Bucci, [email protected] (preferred), 202-690-0213.

Jennifer Adona, [email protected]

Challenge Sponsors

ONC Logo