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2023 Student mHealth App Competition

The Mobile Health Applications for Consumers Design Competition finals will be held on March 26-29, 2023, at the HFES Health Care Symposium

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society once again invited students to participate in the "Mobile Health Applications for End Users" Design Competition in conjunction with the 2023 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care.


  1. Showcase the application of human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) methods and design principles for the design of a mobile health application for end users.

  2. Showcase how the HF/E approach to such an application can lead to a useful, usable, and satisfying user experience while simultaneously improving patient outcomes such as knowledge, safety, adherence, or health.

All prospective teams must have submitted a notice of intent to participate by September 23, 2022, prior to starting any work on the competition.

Who may submit

All entries should come from students enrolled in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree-granting program. All team members must be students at the time of the 2023 International Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care. Entries may come from individuals or teams of no more than four students.



Applications must be newly devised and designed for this competition. Work that has been presented or submitted to other venues will not be considered. Applications should be designed for use by healthcare end users. This can include consumers, their support network, and healthcare professionals; however, the app must be a stand alone product. Applications should be mobile health software that is accessible via a mobile device and may be integrated with hardware (e.g., wearable activity tracker, Bluetooth blood pressure cuff) or online services (e.g., Google Maps, Facebook).


Competition timeline and entry procedures

Intent to Participate – Notice of intent to participant (Due September 23, 2022)

All prospective contestants must submit a notice of intent to participate prior to starting any work on the competition. Submission of the notice to participate must have been completed by September 23, 2022.


Round 1 – Submission of Initial Entries (Due December 14, 2022)

Contestants verified for eligibility and approved to participate should submit their initial entries on December 9, 2022. The initial submission must include the following:

  • Low fidelity wireframe of the app - the wireframe may be a paper-based or digital representation of the app. Teams can use programs such as Axure, Google Sketch, Miro, InVision, or Figma file that should be exported into a PDF or other downloaded format for the submission. Wireframes at this stage of the competition are not required to be interactive.

  • Report about the business case for developing the app - the report should be a minimum of 2 pages and include information justifying the need for the product. The report must state the problem the app is addressing and list the potential user groups.

These submissions will be reviewed by a panel of judges, and up to the top 8 submissions will continue on to Round 2 of the competition and be provided with a product researcher coach.


Round 2 – Semifinalist Coaching and Submissions (Due February 10, 2023)

Seminfinalists teams will be announced by the first week of January 2023. Final submissions are due on February 10, 2023.


Each semifinalist team will be assigned a product researcher coach that will meet with the team at least twice during the extended product development period.


Semifinalist submissions should include the following:

  • Interactive prototype of the app - this digital representation must include the ability to select different icons that will take the user to the intended section of the app. Teams may use the same software they used to create their prototype for the initial submission to develop their interactive prototype.

  • Product specifications document - this document should list the connections between all of the components of the app in sufficient detail that these specifications could be given along with the prototype and production assets to a computer programmer who could then program the app.

  • Updated report - teams should add a semifinalist activities section to their report to discuss the work that they did after their initial submission. This section can be up to 5 pages and should include how you approached the design of the interactive prototype and product specifications.

These submissions will again be reviewed by a panel of judges and the top 3 submissions will be selected as finalists for the competition and invited to present during a special session at the HFES Health Care Symposium. Teams will be notified if they are finalists by the first week of March 2023. Finalists teams will be provided with a detailed judging rubric for their presentations at this time. These finalists will each be awarded a certificate and $200 prize. One or more team members may present.


Round 3 – Finalist Presentations during the HFES Health Care Symposium (March 26-29, 2023)

A new panel of judges will be formed to review the presentation. Finalists are strongly recommended to address any feedback received from earlier reviews. Note: Judges will not be given the team’s full 15 page report but will be provided access to the interactive prototype and product specifications. Teams will be asked to send in their presentations for judges to review 2 days prior to presenting at the conference.



All contestants must commit to at least one representative registering for, attending, and presenting at the 2023 HFES Health Care Symposium if their entry is selected as a finalist.

** In person attendance will be flexible based on the COVID-19 situation.


Judging Criteria and Process

All applications will be judged along five dimensions during each Round of the competition:

  1. Assessment of and alignment with user needs through appropriate methods (e.g., contextual inquiry)

  2. Application of HF/E methods

  3. Application of HF/E design principles

  4. Use of an iterative design process involving formative evaluation and testing

  5. Description of application need and business viability, including market niche



  • Free symposium registration for one presenter from each finalist team.

  • Estimated $200 honorarium awarded to each team that is a finalist.

  • Estimated $500 additional prize to the winning team, to be announced during the poster reception.

  • Certificates for finalists and winning team.


For answers to any questions regarding the competition, please contact Dr. Sudeep Hegde at or Dr. Kathryn Tippey at

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