Electronic health records are expected to play a key role in improving the quality of U.S. healthcare. For this reason, the Obama administration's $27 billion HITECH ACT is urging the implementation of EHR systems through an incentive-based program for organizations that demonstrate the meaningful use of certified EHR technology. If hospitals don't demonstrate meaningful use of EHR systems, they face reductions in Medicare reimbursements starting in 2015. On the other hand, hospitals that adopt new systems and demonstrate meaningful use are able to receive up to $2 million in incentives.
HHS has announced a contest, "Now Trending - #Health in My Community," challenging Web developers to create Web-based applications that use Twitter to track health trends in real time.