ONC task force recommends adding Precision Medicine Initiative to Interoperability Roadmap

The advisory committee said that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT should accelerate the definition and standards for President Obama's PMI and Patient-Generated Health Data. 
By Jack McCarthy
09:18 AM
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interoperability ONC Precision Medicine

Advisors to ONC, which resides within Health and Human Services headquarters, suggested that ONC make accommodations for President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative within the Interoperability Roadmap. 

The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT should add information about Precision Medicine to its Interoperability Roadmap, the office’s Precision Medicine Task Force recommended.

Specifically, the task force said the ONC should provide an Interoperability Roadmap addendum for PMI and that it should engage stakeholders to accelerate the definition of a minimum data set and standards for PMI as well as Patient-Generated Health Data.

President Barack Obama announced the Precision Medicine Initiative — a medical model that proposes the customization of healthcare, with medical decisions, practices, and products being tailored to the individual patient — during his 2015 State of the Union Address.

ONC’s advisory task force also said the office should consider high value, non-EHR data sources to promote completeness of patient information documentation and that the PMI should encourage use of standard APIs to source data.

“The volumes of data inherent in these queries and these exchanges would be well beyond what is currently encountered in our newborn but growing EHR ecosystem,” Andy Wiesenthal the Task Force’s co-chair, said. “There’s going to be lots of data sources that we are not currently including, especially data directly from patients.”

Due to the variety of these data sources, the task force suggested greater emphasis on interoperability and data reciprocity, where individual’s access to their aggregated PMI data will promote participation, retention and engagement.

“Data return should offer dynamic, compelling visualizations to promote its use,” the task force wrote. “Patients should have access to computable, raw genetic testing and sequencing data. These data are among the most potentially useful to patients in the long term.”

What’s more, the PMI within ONC’s Interoperability Roadmap should define means of access including tools such as patient portals and APIs that enable individuals to access all data types, whether lab results, medications or even genomics.

“Participants’ access to their aggregated information will promote participation and retention,” said the Task Force’s other co-chair, Leslie Kelly Hall. “So data return should offer dynamic and compelling visualizations to promote its use. And patients should have access to computable, raw genetic testing and sequencing data.”

The task force made its recommendations at a joint meeting of ONC's Health IT Policy and Standards Committees. The recommendations were the result of nine meetings by the task force, held from February to May. 

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