Children’s Hospital Boston at work on iPhone-like app
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School will take the lead on development of a new healthcare information technology platform – inspired by the iPhone.
The research is funded with a $15 million grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. The grant is one of four awarded through the Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The four-year project will be led by Isaac Kohane, MD and Kenneth Mandl, MD, both of the Children's Hospital Informatics Program and Harvard Medical School, and will investigate, evaluate, and prototype approaches to achieving an "iPhone-like" health information technology platform model.
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, the researchers said.This will stand in stark contrast to the way health information systems have been designed and implemented to date, and will encourage evolution, competition, innovation and efficiency in health care and technology.
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 2009 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.
Organizations across the health ecosystem will partner with the research team on efforts to translate their solutions into real-world practice. Organizations across the health ecosystem will partner with the research team on efforts to translate their solutions into real-world practice.