The PCORI Matchmaking App Challenge

The PCORI Matchmaking App Challenge is an opportunity for developers to create a polished, ready-to-publish app, which will facilitate the creation of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) partnerships between patients, stakeholders, and researchers. This opportunity builds on the PCORI Challenge Initiative, hosted in 2013 with Health 2.0, which asked developers to design concepts and prototypes of a “matching” mechanism connecting patients, stakeholders, and researchers interested in seeking funding for rigorous PCOR. A panel of 10 judges reviewed 29 submissions. On June 3, 2013, PCORI announced two winners, and three honorable mentions from each category.


The development of partnerships between patients, stakeholders, and researchers helps to build an infrastructure for patient-centered outcomes research, and achieve PCORI’s three strategic goals. The purpose of this challenge is to fund an innovative mechanism that increases access for patients, researchers, and other stakeholders to partner with each other to conduct patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR.) The elements of “partnership” in patient-centered outcomes research include:

  1. Topic generation and prioritization;
  2. Research question development;
  3. Research study methods design;
  4. Governance and structure of the research team;
  5. Recruitment of sites and participants; and
  6. Developing models of dissemination for the research results.

The ultimate objective of the winning app is to facilitate the creation of partnerships between patients, researchers, and other stakeholders. The winning entries must be able to address the full set of guidelines, as described on the Health 2.0 PCORI Matchmaking App Challenge website.


Evaluation criteria for all of the submissions are assessed on a Likert scale of 1-5. 1= Poor, 5=Excellent. Evaluation criteria include:

  • Program Fit:  meets the basic requirement of facilitating the creation of partnerships between researchers, stakeholders, and patients.
  • Creativity: uniqueness and innovation in approach to fulfilling the mandatory requirements; the variety and value of additional features.
  • User interface and user experience (UI/UX): overall look, feel of various displays and ease of use of all features
  • Evidence of co-design: the inclusion of patients and stakeholders in the app design and development process
  • Sensitivity: demonstrated cultural awareness; consideration of the variety of potential users (PCORI’s priority populations)
  • Incentive: impetus users have to download the app and return to use it frequently
  • Past Performance: evidence of the volume and quality of the app developer’s previous experience in creating technology solutions for community building; these do not need to be health-related (judged only from the “Past Performance” slide in the .PDF submission).

Review Process:

  • Virtual Judging on Health 2.0’s Online Judging Platform
  • Judging panel will include PCORI staff, patient and stakeholder representatives from PCORI’s Advisory Panelists and technology experts
  • Applications and mock-ups reviewed online
  • Quantitative/qualitative scores submitted online


Challenge Launch March 24, 2014
Application Submission Deadline August 15, 2014
Judging Begins August 15, 2014
Judging Completed August 31, 2014
Winners Announced September 2014


$150,000 total prize purse

  • First Prize – $100,000; Payment schedule: 60% ($60,000) awarded upon winning the challenge; remaining 40% ($40,000) awarded upon publication to Google Play, the Apple iTunes store or other publicly available app store (subject to approval by the Sponsor).
  • Second Prize – $35,000 (100% paid upon award)
  • Third Prize – $15,000 (100% paid upon award)


Take the Challenge:



PCORI hosted an informational webinar on 4/30/14, to explain the history, motivation and guidelines for the Matchmaking App Challenge. 

Archived Webinar Button

Learn about the 2013 PCORI Challenge Initiative and meet the winners



Posted October 8, 2012; Updated August 5, 2014