“Maybe with all that ARRA money floating about in the HITECH Act, ONC should just go ahead and build such an ‘open’ platform that supports modular apps to meet specific needs wihin this highly fragmented market. Seriously, this needs some consideration,” Chilmark Research Principal John Moore wrote last year after reading about a proposal by Boston researchers to create an “iPhone-like” platform for health IT.
“Are you listening, Washington?” Moore wrote last June. Yes, apparently they were.
Yesterday, HHS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have awarded Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital a $15 million grant for a four year research project to “investigate, evaluate, and prototype approaches to achieving an ‘iPhone-like’ health information technology platform model.” The grant monies came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as part of the Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) program, which was set up to address “key challenges in adoption and meaningful use of health IT.” The Boston researchers were one of four groups to receive a $15 million grant from SHARP.
We have been tracking this concept of an “iTunes platform” for health IT since last year when Isaac Kohane, MD, PhD, and Kenneth Mandl, MD, MPH, the awardees of the $15 million grant, proposed it in a March 2009 New England Journal of Medicine article: “No small change for the health information economy.”
Following what the authors called a positive reception for their proposal, the two researchers held a working group at the Harvard Medical School Center for Biomedical Informatics to determine next steps toward the creation of the platform. Among the half dozen participants was Dr. David Kibbe from The Kibbe Group. A few weeks later Kibbe presented the proposal to attendees at the Healthcare Unbound conference in Seattle, Washington, which MobiHealthNews covered live: Keep reading>>