Today, most people’s clinical records remain siloed at a single hospital or health network. For the most part, health apps can’t tap into these data, nor can medicine learn from them. Also, most electronic health records (EHRs) are unable to import the biometric data people are collecting from their own devices, much less interpret them.
In 2009, Kenneth Mandl, MD, MPH, and Isaac Kohane, MD, PhD, of Boston Children’s Hospital published a manifesto in The New England Journal of Medicine calling for health care information systems to have iPhone functionality. This would entail several key attributes: liquidity of data, modularity of applications, accommodation of both open-source and closed-source software through open standards, and the ability to support diverse applications.
In short, they envisioned a “plug and play” health IT platform. In a nod to that vision, as part of President Obama’s 2009 economic stimulus package, Mandl and Kohane were named to lead a $15 million federal research grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in 2010.
The four-year grant led to the development of SMART, an open platform where innovators can create apps that can run securely across the healthcare system — rather than wait for an EHR vendor to create an app for them. SMART established a gallery of EHR-friendly health apps, analogous to the iTunes App Store, compatible with the emerging standards framework known as Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR). About three dozen SMART apps have been created to date — covering everything from pediatric blood pressure measurement to genomics. Patients, clinicians and public health practitioners can tap the apps using any EHR system that supports the SMART standard.
Read the full post on Vector: Moving one step closer to smartphone-like, interoperable EHR apps
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