• AMIA Symposium Student Design Challenge

AMIA 2018 Annual Symposium Student Design Challenge

Call for Participation

Delivering Care Anytime Anywhere

AMIA is pleased to announce the 6th Annual Student Design Challenge (SDC). In this challenge, we invite teams of graduate students from different scientific disciplines and of various backgrounds to propose creative solutions to a specified problem related to healthcare. We seek novel solutions that incorporate cutting edge computational and interactive technologies and take advantage of the considerable advances in such research areas as biomedical informatics, human-computer interaction, computer science, information visualization, pervasive and ubiquitous computing, among many others. A panel of distinguished members of the AMIA community will review the proposed solutions and select the best proposals based on a number of criteria, including their originality and transformative potential. Eight teams selected as finalists will be asked to attend the AMIA 2018 Annual Symposium and present their solutions during the AMIA poster session. The top three teams as selected by the SDC panel will be invited to participate in a formal presentation during the AMIA 2018 Annual Symposium.

This year the SDC is inviting submissions that focus on leveraging interactive technologies to deliver care outside of traditional care settings – anytime, anywhere. Increasing availability of new interactive technologies and modalities, for example through mobile devices and speech and voice interfaces, makes it possible to deliver healthcare to individuals whenever it is needed, and wherever they may be – at their homes or on the road. Furthermore, there are growing numbers of users who are more comfortable with computer-mediated communication that may prefer to interact with their healthcare providers on-demand and in a more spontaneous ways than is possible during traditional patient encounters. Already many individuals rely on secure messaging systems to quickly request assistance and information from their healthcare providers outside the office visit. However, there remain many open challenges and unrealized opportunities to move this new type of healthcare beyond text messaging or traditional telemedicine solutions and enable new ways for patients and their healthcare providers to interact, exchange information, and engage in collaborative decision-making. In this challenge, we invite teams of students to envision new ways of delivering healthcare outside of the traditional patient encounters relying on novel interaction paradigms, including mobile technologies, augmented reality, speech and voice technologies, and new video conferencing platforms.


  • August 1, 2018 – proposal submission deadline
  • September 4, 2018 – notifications to authors
  • September 18, 2018 – final accepted revision submission deadline


Please read the entire Student Design Challenge description. If you have any questions about this process, please send an email to studentdesignchallenge@amia.org

Problem Definition
Call For Submissions
SDC Committee

Computer-mediated communication has become a norm in many areas of human lives. Modern video- and tele-conferencing systems allow remote co-workers to interact daily as they collaborate on projects that span various locations and time zones (1). Social media sites allow friends and family members stay connected through lightweight, frequent interactions that may include direct communication, as well as sharing lived experiences (2). Mobile technologies have been widely adopted by broad and diverse populations, brining computing to individuals’ fingertips when it is needed, for example using GPS-tracking systems to provide recommendations based on an individuals’ location (3). At home, speech and voice-driven technologies such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home provide lightweight access to information, music, and home automation systems though simple voice commands (4).

These trends begin to set new expectations for how individuals may wish to engage with health and healthcare. Many physician practices offer their patients an opportunity to ask questions, request information, or even conduct remote consultations using secure messaging services or video conferencing (5). Telemedicine solutions have been well-studied and accepted in many clinical settings and for a variety of health conditions (6). Yet there remain many unresolved challenges and unrealized opportunities regarding the use of novel off-the-desktop technologies in the context of health and healthcare. For example, there are open questions as to how to design systems that allow clinicians and patients to view medical records while using video-conferencing, how these digitally-mediated encounters can be captured and accessed at a later time, how clinicians can keep track of their communications and manage their workload, and how patients can use these technologies to share their experiences with clinicians in a more meaningful and informative way.

In this challenge, we call on undergraduate and graduate students and trainees in biomedical informatics and related fields to envision new ways of using off-the-desktop technologies and new communication modalities to deliver care when and where it is needed. These solutions may involve mobile technologies, speech and voice interfaces, augmented reality, and other novel ways of delivering healthcare on demand.

Importantly, the focus of this challenge is on envisioning new ways of healthcare delivery that move beyond more traditional telemedicine and remote consultation paradigms.


  1. Gauglitz S, Nuernberger B, Turk M, Höllerer T. In Touch with the Remote World: Remote Collaboration with Augmented Reality Drawings and Virtual Navigation. In: Proceedings of the 20th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology [Internet]. New York, NY, USA: ACM; 2014 [cited 2018 Mar 17]. p. 197–205. (VRST ’14). Available from: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/2671015.2671016
  2. Bakshy E, Hofman JM, Mason WA, Watts DJ. Everyone’s an Influencer: Quantifying Influence on Twitter. In: Proceedings of the Fourth ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining [Internet]. New York, NY, USA: ACM; 2011. p. 65–74. (WSDM ’11). Available from: http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1935826.1935845
  3. Adomavicius G, Tuzhilin A. Context-Aware Recommender Systems. In: Recommender Systems Handbook [Internet]. Springer, Boston, MA; 2015 [cited 2018 Mar 17]. p. 191–226. Available from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4899-7637-6_6
  4. Noda K. Google Home: smart speaker as environmental control unit. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. 2017 Aug 23;0(0):1–2.
  5. North F, Crane SJ, Chaudhry R, Ebbert JO, Ytterberg K, Tulledge-Scheitel SM, et al. Impact of Patient Portal Secure Messages and Electronic Visits on Adult Primary Care Office Visits. Telemedicine and e-Health. 2013 Dec 18;20(3):192–8.
  6. Kvedar J, Coye MJ, Everett W. Connected Health: A Review Of Technologies And Strategies To Improve Patient Care With Telemedicine And Telehealth. Health Affairs. 2014 Feb 1;33(2):194–9.

To qualify for participation, teams should include only students in degree-pursuing graduate programs (including clinicians in training, such as residents and fellows, as well as post-doctoral fellows pursing MA or MS degrees) or Graduate Certificates. Undergraduate students are welcome to participate in design teams, provided that they are supervised by graduate students. Given the nature of the creative process, we suggest that teams include no more than 4 or 5 individuals. Because of our focus on fostering multidisciplinary teams, the SDC will not accept submissions from single individuals. No faculty advising is required for participation; in fact, we encourage teams to work independently and with minimal faculty supervision.

Each team will be asked to identify a specific challenge related to the proposed theme. We recommend that teams select a specific context of use and target audience, for example “Using augmented reality to enable remote training on use of blood glucose monitors for individuals with diabetes”, or “Using in-home voice-activated technologies to enable remote consultations for individuals with asthma”. In both of these scenarios the focus of the solution should be on new ways to deliver healthcare services to individuals outside of the traditional healthcare settings. Some potential areas of focus could include:

  • New ways to enable lightweight communication between individuals and their healthcare providers;
  • New approaches to personalized coaching using mobile technologies and augmented reality;
  • New ways of enabling remote physical examination using ambulatory monitoring devices.

To be considered for the inclusion in the challenge, the teams must develop their proposed solution in sufficient detail to demonstrate their fit to the problem, original approach, and technical viability. For interactive solutions, this would entail developing interactive prototypes or mockups that illustrate their functionality; for computational solutions, the teams will be asked to submit their source code as a text file or a link to the team’s github repository. Proposals to develop solutions in the future will not be considered.

Competition Process

Each team will submit an extended abstract (5 page maximum) discussing their description of the specific challenge related to Engaging Providers and Patients in Precision Medicine, the proposed solution, and their design process. Supplementary materials (including storyboards and mockups, or source code and sample output) are a required part of the submission, and can be included as a separate PDF. The supplementary materials would not count against the 5 page maximum. The submission process will be done through ScholarOne (more details on the submission process are to follow). The submissions will be evaluated through a peer-review process by the SDC steering committee.

The 8 best proposals will be asked to present their solutions during a poster session at AMIA 2018. At least one member from each of the 8 teams will be expected to attend the conference to present a poster illustrating their solution, discuss their solution, and the design process with conference attendees. AMIA will wave registration fee for one presenter from each of the eight teams, with the expectation that the presenter holds a student membership with either AMIA or ACM.

Three teams will also be notified prior to the symposium that their proposal has been selected as a finalist for the AMIA SDC Award. They will be asked to give a presentation about their solution during the AMIA Student Design Challenge session. The 3 finalists will give an oral presentation and, where appropriate, demonstration of their design to the panel of SDC Judges and AMIA attendees. The judges will rank the solutions and presentations to identify the winner and subsequent 2nd and 3rd place teams. The winners will be announced during the last day of AMIA Annual Symposium and acknowledged during the AMIA Closing Plenary.

Abstract Preparation

The participants will prepare an extended abstract (five pages maximum) written in the AMIA format that must include:

  • Definition of the selected challenge related to leveraging of patient-generated data for improving patient care grounded in deep understanding of an identified health problem
  • Description of the proposed solution
  • Discussion of alternative solutions considered
  • Discussion of the strengths and weakness of the chosen solution as compared to the alternatives
  • Proposed implementation and dissemination plan (what it would take for this solution to be adopted on a large scale)
  • Proposed evaluation plan (the participants will be expected to outline potential directions for evaluation, but not to perform it)

The Supplementary Materials must include:

  • For interactive solutions: a mockup or storyboard illustrating the proposed functionality and the interaction of the proposed solution, a link to a video demo of the system.
  • For computational solutions: source code of the solution as a text file or a link to the team’s github repository as well as sample output file (in a PDF document)

The completed abstract and any supplementary documents should be submitted using ScholarOne by 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 1, 2018. If you do not already have a ScholarOne account, you will need to create one. AMIA member log-in will not provide access to ScholarOne. If you are not sure if you already have an account or if you have one, but do not remember your user name and password, please contact Dasha Cohen at dasha@amia.org

Review Criteria

All proposed solutions will be reviewed by the SDC Steering Committee, consisting of distinguished members from the AMIA and HCI communities. The members of the Steering Committee will review the abstracts and assess their quality, focusing on both the actual proposed solution, and its description and justification in the proposal, based on the following criteria:

  • Understanding of the problem (does the solution address an important problem related to integration of PGD into EHR systems in a realistic way and does it demonstrate a deep understanding of the problem)
  • Fit to the problem (how likely is the proposed solution to address the selected problem?)
  • Effective integration of clinical experts or patients (whether the proposed solution relies on clinical expertise and/or deep understanding of patient perspective)
  • Innovation (how novel and original is the solution?)
  • Transformative potential (how likely is it to transform the nature of clinical decision-making or communication between providers and patients)
  • Completeness (is the solution is well thought-out and complete)
  • Clarity of the design process (how well the solution and the design process described in the abstract)
  • Clarity of the strengths and weaknesses discussion (do the teams have a realistic and thoughtful assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of their solutions?)
  • Appropriateness of the evaluation approach (is the evaluation plan appropriate for the solution?)


The SDC awards ceremony will take place during the last day of AMIA Annual Symposium.


  • August 1, 2018 – proposal submission deadline
  • September 4, 2018 – notifications to authors
  • September 18, 2018 – final accepted revision submission deadline


If you have any questions about this process, please send an email to studentdesignchallenge@amia.org

Lena Mamykina, PhD, Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Informatics, Columbia University
Dr. Mamykina’s broad research interests include individual’s sensemaking and problem-solving in context of health management, collective sensemaking within online health support communities, clinical reasoning and decision-making, communication and coordination of work in clinical teams, and ways to support these practices with informatics interventions.

Dr. Mamykina received her B.S. in Computer Science from the Ukrainian State University of Maritime Technology, M.S. in Human Computer Interaction from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Ph.D. in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and M.A. in Biomedical Informatics from Columbia University. Her dissertation work at Georgia Tech focused on facilitating reflection and learning in context of diabetes management with mobile and ubiquitous computing. Prior to joining DBMI as a faculty member, she completed a National Library of Medicine Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the department.

Madhu Reddy, PhD, Professor
Communication Studies, Health and Biomedical Informatics, Northwestern University
Dr. Reddy’s research focuses on issues of collaboration in healthcare. He is particularly interested in how healthcare providers collaborate during information seeking and decision-making activities and the role that HIT plays in supporting these types of collaboration in clinical settings.

Dr. Reddy received his M.S. in Health Care Administration from the California State University, Long Beach, M.S. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine, and Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Lauren Wilcox, PhD, Assistant Professor
School of Interactive Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology
Lauren Wilcox, PhD is an assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology where she directs the Health Experience and Applications Lab (Hx Lab). Her research focuses on designing, prototyping, and evaluating technology to support the needs of people working both individually and together to achieve health-related goals. Her studies related to communicating health information in patient-centered ways have been recognized by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) through a Dissertation Award in 2012 and by the NSF through a CRII award in 2015 and a CAREER award in 2017. Wilcox is a member of the Inaugural Class of the ACM Future of Computing Academy. She served as general chair of WISH @ AMIA 2017, the scientific program committee for AMIA 2016, and frequently serves on the technical program committees for ACM CHI and EAI PervasiveHealth. Wilcox adopts research methods from the fields of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) as well as Health and Biomedical Informatics, to design patient- and family-facing health IT in human-centered ways.

Jonathan Nebeker, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine,
University of Utah, School of Medicine
Dr. Nebeker is currently interested in translating theoretical frameworks from social and cognitive psychology to medicine for designing and evaluating user interfaces for EHRs (with Charlene Weir and Frank Drews.) He led a project to translate the Contextual Control Model from a branch of Cognitive Systems Engineering. Guided by this translated model, his team developed a new paradigm for graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for EHRs. Instead of focusing on data, which is typical of current EHRs, the GUI focuses on thought- and workflow. The GUIs incorporate ideas from mindset, dual process, and communication theories. They featured information displays that are designed to reduce cognitive effort to understand what is going on with the patient. In a randomized controlled trial versus a widely used traditional interface, the new interfaces were significantly faster—despite minimal training in the unfamiliar interfaces.

Dr. Nebeker also has national leadership roles in VA. He is Director of VA Informatics and Computing Infrastructure (VINCI.) VINCI is a secure, powerful, virtualized computing environment with national clinical data back to 2000. In addition to directing the center, Dr. Nebeker leads GUI development for several applications. Dr. Nebeker is the Clinical Lead for the DoD-VA Integrated EHR Graphical User Interface. In this capacity he coordinates with national VA clinical leads and directs the vision for the new paradigm for the iEHR interfaces.

Wanda Pratt, Ph.D
Professor, Information School, Division of Biomedical & Health Informatics, University of Washington
Wanda Pratt is a Professor in both the Information School and the Division of Biomedical & Health Informatics in the Medical School at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. in Medical Informatics from Stanford University, her M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Texas, and her B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas. Her published papers span a wide range of topics whose central theme is to understand the problem of information overload in a variety of health contexts and to develop new types technology to address those problems. She received an NSF CAREER Award for her work on literature-based discovery systems.

Samuel Trent Rosenbloom, MD, MPH, FACMI
Dr. Rosenbloom is the Vice Chair for Faculty Affairs, the Director of Patient Engagement Technologies and an Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics with secondary appointments in Medicine, Pediatrics and the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University. He is a board certified Internist and Pediatrician who earned his M.D., completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, a fellowship in Biomedical Informatics, and earned an MPH all at Vanderbilt. Since joining the faculty in 2002, Dr. Rosenbloom has become a nationally recognized investigator in the field of health information technology evaluation. His research has focused on studying how healthcare providers interact with health information technologies when engaging patients, documenting patient care and making clinical decisions. Dr. Rosenbloom has successfully competed for extramural funding from the National Library of Medicine and from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the role of principal investigator. Dr. Rosenbloom’s work has resulted in lead and collaborating authorship on over 60 peer reviewed manuscripts, which have been published in Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Pediatrics, Annals of Internal Medicine, and Academic Medicine, among others. In addition, Dr. Rosenbloom has authored and coauthored 5 book chapters and numerous posters, white papers and invited papers. He has been a committed member of the principal professional organization in his field, the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA). He has served AMIA in leadership roles, including participating in: a Scientific Program Committee, the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (JAMIA) Editorial Board, a national Health Policy Meeting Committee, the JAMIA Editor in Chief search committee, and a Working Group on Unintended Consequences. As a result of his research success and service to AMIA, Dr. Rosenbloom was the annual recipient of the competitive AMIA New Investigator Award in 2009, and was elected to the American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) in 2011. In addition, Dr. Rosenbloom has participated in study sections for the National Library of Medicine and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Healthcare. He has also participated as a member of the HL7 Pediatric Data Special Interest Group and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Clinical Information Technology. In addition, Dr. Rosenbloom is an active reviewer several journals covering general medicine, pediatrics and biomedical informatics.

Katie A. Siek, PhD, Assistant Professor
Indiana University
Katie Siek is an associate professor in Informatics at Indiana University Bloomington. Her primary research interests are in human computer interaction, health informatics, and ubiquitous computing. More specifically, she is interested in how sociotechnical interventions affect personal health and well being. Her research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the National Science Foundation including a five-year NSF CAREER award. She has been awarded a CRA-W Borg Early Career Award (2012) and a Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance Distinguished Visiting Fellowship (2010 & 2015). Prior to returning to her alma mater, she was a professor for 7 years at the University of Colorado Boulder. She earned her PhD and MS at Indiana University Bloomington in computer science and her BS in computer science at Eckerd College. She was a National Physical Science Consortium Fellow at Indiana University and a Ford Apprentice Scholar at Eckerd College.


AMIA 2018 Annual Symposium Sponsors

AMIA First Look

AMIA Working Group Supporters (NIWG)


Student Paper Prize