Monday, April 12, 2010
The Harvard SHARP Grant
Last week, ONC awarded $60 million to four institutions - Mayo Clinic, Harvard University, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - through the Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) program.
Each institution's research projects will identify short-term and long-term solutions to address key challenges, including ensuring the security of health IT (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), enabling patient-centered cognitive support for clinicians (The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston), making progress toward new health care application and network-platform architectures (Harvard University), and promoting the secondary use of EHR data while maintaining privacy and security (Mayo Clinic of Medicine).
Many of my readers have asked for details about the Harvard grant.
It's led by Zak Kohane and Ken Mandl of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program (CHIP) and Harvard Medical School, and includes many collaborators such as Griffin Weber MD/Phd in my HMS IT group.
They will investigate, evaluate, and prototype approaches to achieving an “iPhone-like” health information technology platform model, as was first described by Mandl and Kohane in a March 2009 Perspectives article in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The platform architecture, described as a “SMArt” (Substitutable Medical Applications, reusable technologies) architecture, will provide core services and support extensively networked data from across the health system, as well as facilitate substitutable applications – enabling the equivalent of the iTunes App Store for health.
This new approach to a health information infrastructure was the focus of a June 2009 working group meeting at the Harvard Medical School Center for Biomedical Informatics and an October HIT meeting which brought together more than 100 key stakeholders across academia, government and industry in an exploration of innovative ways to transform the national health IT system.
The SMArt platform will provide a common interface to the “App Store” for the Indivo open source personally controlled health record platform developed by the CHIP team more than a decade ago, as well as open source platforms created by other subcontractors on the ONC grant: Partners HealthCare System’s i2b2 analytic platform and the Regenstrief Institute’s CareWeb EHR.
Over the past year, much has been said about modular approaches to EHRs. Now the Certification NPRM includes that concept. One problem with the modular approach is lack of data exchange and workflow integration between modules. Zak, Ken and team will work hard, via the SHARP grant, to solve that problem.
Posted by John Halamka at 3:00 AM