HHS is searching for the best idea for a system that captures essential data from durable medical equipment, such as loss of power, GPS location and privacy-protected user information during emergencies.
Thousands of people in the U.S. rely on electrically powered durable medical equipment to meet their medical needs at home and often have to find help in shelters or emergency rooms during extended power outages, according to HHS.
The department's office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, or ASPR, kicked off the Ideation Challenge, a contest to find ideas for determining the location and the status of durable medical equipment—such as oxygen concentrators and portable ventilators—to help users in emergencies. The system should also gather the power level and battery life of the equipment and the time and date. HHS envisions a network that's accessible to all those who use durable medical equipment in their homes and sends data securely to other secure information systems.