The apps could include a heart health risk assessment, or a list of places to get blood-pressure and cholesterol checks, the department stated.
The national coordinator for health information technology, Farzad Mostashari, called the challenge an example of how "consumer health information technology ... can help individuals better manage their health."
The effort is part of the Million Hearts Initiative, a public-private partnership between HHS and various industry stakeholders that seeks to prevent heart disease and stroke.
Once a winning app is chosen, Million Hearts will launch a "national education campaign" on better heart health, working with the cities of Baltimore, Chicago, San Diego and Tulsa, Okla.
"Each city will promote the screenings through outdoor, radio, and print advertising; grassroots, community-based events; and other activities," a release stated.
Some pharmacies and retail clinics will also provide free health screenings during the first few months of the campaign.
Read more about the effort here.