HHS announces interoperability innovation awardees for FHIR scalability, patient engagement

Two interoperability projects will get a funding boost from the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects in Health Information Technology, or LEAP in Health IT program, launched by the The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information IT.

The LEAP in Health IT awardees will get address fast emerging and future challenges to advance the development and use of interoperable health IT.

The specific focus is twofold. ONC was seeking innovations in the standardization and implementation of scalable FHIR consent resources, and the design, development and demonstration of enhanced patient engagement technologies.

The 2019 awardees are San Diego Regional Health Information Exchange and University of Texas at Austin.

San Diego Regional HIE, with an eye toward standards, use case and community testing, will develop and make available FHIR Consent Implementation Guide and package new open-source prototypes and content to assist partners in using the FHIR Consent Resource.

University of Texas at Austin will develop and test a patient-engagement platform to support an array of mobile apps aimed at underrepresented populations. The focus will be on privacy and security needs, user-centered design approaches and appropriate data sharing across patients, clinicians and researchers.

ONC says the LEAP in Health IT initiative is aimed at “well-documented and fast emerging challenges that inhibit the development, use, and/or advancement of well-designed, interoperable health IT. It is expected to further a new generation of health IT development and inform the innovative implementation and refinement of standards, methods, and techniques for overcoming major barriers and challenges as they are identified.”

These initiatives are the most recent in ONC’s ongoing efforts to spur interoperability innovation across healthcare. While another project, CONNECT, recently transitioned from ONC control to the private sector, other efforts continue as the agency pushes forward on data exchange imperatives of the 21st Century Cures Act.

“These projects will make it easier for our increasingly complex health care system to leverage the latest technological advancements and breakthroughs more quickly and to enable real-time solutions to health care challenges,” said National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. Don Rucker, in a statement.

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Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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