CCF News (20)

For the third consecutive year, the code-a-thon known as CajunCodeFest (April 23-25), a signature event for the Center for Business & Information Technologies (CBIT) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette), will bring innovators together to build something meaningful.

Using any framework or platform that teams choose, they will be put to the 27-hour health care coding test aimed at developing health care solutions.

CajunCodeFest 3.0 judges will be looking for solutions that encourage individuals to “Age in Place” to maintain quality of life as patients grow older and want to live at home. A sub-theme to the event will include the “Internet of Things” (IOT), specifically how uniquely identifiable objects and their virtual representations can help people “Age in Place”.

Undergraduate and graduate students, programmers, software developers, designers and engineers, educators, healthcare professionals, marketing and business strategists, and entrepreneurs are invited to participate.

Currently confirmed speakers include: Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer, US Health and Human Services; Kathy Kliebert, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals; and Jody Holtzman, Senior Vice President, Thought Leadership, AARP.

$25,000 will be awarded to the winning team to turn their innovative idea– whether it be an app, software, device, etc.– into reality. Best Student Team solution will also win a prize. Other prizes will be announced as the competition gets closer.

Registration is free but required and space is limited. Visit to register and find out more information.

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UL Lafayette’s inaugural health care coding competition received an Innov8 2013 Award in the education category.

Four awards were presented Monday night at the Acadiana Center for the Arts as part of Innov8 Lafayette, an eight-day festival that showcases Lafayette’s entrepreneurial culture and economic viability.

Innov8 is an initiative of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. It began April 19 and continues through Friday.

Awards were given for the top innovations in Acadiana in four categories: nonprofit, business, education and medical.

The awards ceremony featured a short video presentation about the projects of each group.

Displays by the honorees were available for viewing before and after the ceremony in the lobby of the Acadiana Center for the Arts.

Winners of the Innov8 2013 Awards include:

• Nonprofit: Evangeline Area Boy Scouts for the Atchafalaya High Adventure Swamp Base project. The scouts will convert several acres of Atchafalaya Basin into an adventure base.

• Business: McBraun Industries for the BluDri Product Line. The home solution product absorbs residual moisture in washing machines.

• Education: UL Lafayette Center for Business Information and Technologies for Cajun Code Fest at Innov8 2012. The two-day competition focuses on transforming data into health care solutions.

• Medical: Lafayette General Medical Center for the Telemedicine Clinic at Stuller, Inc.The first telemedicine clinic in Acadiana was established in May 2012 at Stuller Inc.

For more information, visit

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Public Health Informatics Virtual Event presentations include an HIE simulation in Texas and a tool that tracks disease reporting using social media
The three-day Public Health Informatics Virtual Event kicked off Tuesday, Jan. 7, with a handful of interesting presentations ranging from ICD-10’s impact on public health to syndromic surveillance and meaningful use.

In the first presentation, Lucas Tramontozzi, the former chief technology officer for the State of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals, talked about efforts under way in Louisiana to open up data to fuel the creation of innovative applications. (Tramontozzi recently took a position as vice president of data strategy for SCI Solutions.)

The Blue Button effort was an important first step, he said. But there is more work to do to put patients in the center of their care by making it more relevant, fun, and thought provoking. Public health officials alone can’t improve health, he said. Patients have to take their health into their own hands and technology is central to that effort. Louisiana has launched what it calls the Cajun Code Fest, an annual event to bring innovative companies and students together with de-identified data from the state data warehouse. With help from a company called Privacy Analytics, the state de-identified data on 200,000 Medicaid patients and 30,000 providers for more than 200 coders to work with. The winners of the 2012 event came up with an application that uses social networking to help physicians and families create a support team for medication and care plan adherence. (CajunCodeFest 3.0 will be April 23-25, 2014, at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.)

Researchers from the University of Texas described their efforts to create a health information exchange simulation laboratory, including immunization reporting. It involves software from several HIE and EHR vendors.

Leanne Field, director of public health in the Medical Laboratory Sciences and Health IT programs at UT-Austin, said the HIE lab is helping students gain familiarity with workflow processes and the familiarity would help them redesign public health informatics practices. This lab affords opportunity for public health practice, with meaningful use Stage 2 published objectives such as transferring immunization records to a registry and sending cancer surveillance data through an HIE to a cancer registry. The lab also is working on applied research with vendor Jericho Systems on patient consent models for sensitive health data.

Catherine Ordun, an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, described an application under development that seeks to use social media sources such as Twitter to augment traditional reporting on outbreaks of disease and food-borne illnesses. “This could augment the information toolbox you might be using to better allocate personnel and resources,” she said, “and forecast who else might be affected.”

The tool, Open Source Health Intelligence (OSHINT), tracks tweets about salmonella and E. coli chatter to see if the additional information could speed up or pinpoint severity or sources of outbreaks. OSHINT was able to capture local news headline references before CDC could gather and broadcast that information, she said, adding that more research needs to be done on how the tool could be put to the best use.

Sessions on Jan. 8 include “Assessing the Status & Prospects of State & Local Health Department Information Technology Infrastructure” and “Use of a Health Information Exchange Saves Time During Disease Investigations.” Check back tomorrow for updates.

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LAFAYETTE (KADN) — The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is holding its third annual computer coding marathon called CajunCodeFest 3.0.

The University says the theme for this year’s competition is “Aging in Place,” with the goal of developing solutions for people who want to live at home as they grow older.

CajunCodeFest 3.0 will feature a 27-hour long coding competition, networking opportunities, and a discussion about current issues in health care technology.

Cash and prizes will be awarded to winners in several categories, including a grand prize of $25,000.

Teams with a maximum of six members will compete. Those interested in joining a team should attend the team-building session on April 23.

CajunCodeFest 3.0 is scheduled for April 23-25 at the Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning in University Research Park.

All participants are required to register, however registration is free. Space is limited, so participants are encouraged to register early.

The event is open to undergraduate and graduate students, programmers, software developers, designers and engineers, educators, healthcare professionals, marketing and business strategists, and entrepreneurs.

Participants can register at More information is available by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or calling (337) 482-0627.

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A number of HealthCare technology code-fest events are underway. This coming weekend, we'll be participating in the "Hacking Health" code-fest in Vancouver, BC. We're also planning to join the " Cajun Code-Fest" in Lafayette, LA, in April. HealthVault, has a lot to offer as a platform for innovative healthcare technology solutions. If you are planning to attend any of these events, please note the following resources. This short-list should help kick-start your thinking. We're looking forward to the code-fests and participating in white-board discussions around how HealthVault may fit into your solution architecture.

In the USA, initiatives such as Meaningful Use and the Automated Blue Button Initiative are driving innovation in healthcare information systems technology. A key objective is the simple and secure exchange of healthcare information between providers and patients. The Direct Project has produced a reference implementation for trust-based encrypted message exchange that is quickly becoming a standard. HealthVault users receive a free Direct Address and may utilize theHealthVault Message Center to participate in secure Direct communications.

Online services are also generating a great deal of innovative thinking. The ability to compose a solution utilizing a number of online services not only increases the speed of implementation but also the richness of end-user experiences. For example, clinical systems are really just customized Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. Why not compose these systems utilizing Dynamics CRM Online and HealthVault ? Throw in Office365, Skype or Lync, and Windows Azure hosted services and you have a very powerful platform for quickly automating healthcare businesses.

Getting Started

Noteworthy Samples

  • Sean's HealthVault Toys - Sean Nolan leads the HealthVault team and regularly contributes invaluable insights via the Family Health Guy blog. He has recently posted a few interactive samples using an Azure WebSite. Experiment with these to gain familiarity with various HealthVault Application models.
  • The HealthVault SDK Samples - When you download and install the HealthVault .NET SDK, you will find several samples hidden within the installation folder.
  • Codeplex Projects, Java, MVC, and Win8 SDKs - Several "sample" projects hosted on also include class libraries that are sneaking-out the door as SDKs in their own right. You can re-use these class libraries as reference assemblies (you get the source too) within your applications. The Java library provides a thin abstraction layer over the raw XML over HTTP HealthVault Platform API and is a good way to build system-independent solutions. The Win8 library enables development of Windows Store HealthVault applications.
  • Oldies but Goodies - Eric wrote a number of how-to type topical articles several years ago. They remain very relevant resources.

And, of course, contact us if you have a great idea for a HealthVault Application and need a bit of technical assistance getting it going!

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The  annual CajunCodeFest Summit and Challenge, hosted by the Center for Business & Information Technologies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is April 13 & 14, 2018. The  events focus on on a new healthcare theme each year. The summit is open to the public and the challenge is open to all students and professionals with an innovative spirit. Teams use data to build apps and tools addressing the opioid epidemic to win cash, prizes and bragging rights. 

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