HHS announces health IT awardees focused on innovative interoperability solutions

Sept. 11, 2019

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has announced two awards under the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects in Health Information Technology (LEAP in Health IT) funding opportunity.

HHS says the LEAP in Health IT awardees play a critical role in advancing the development and use of interoperable health information technology (health IT) and ultimately in improving healthcare for all Americans.

The two new LEAP in Health IT awardees will address fast emerging and future challenges to advance the development and use of interoperable health IT. The SEN solicited applications focused on one of two areas of interest:

1) Standardization and implementation of Scalable Health Level 7 International’s (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) Consent Resource

2) Design, develop, and demonstrate enhanced patient engagement technologies for care and research

“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 healthcare challenges,” said Don Rucker, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

The 2019 awardees are:

• San Diego Regional Health Information Exchange (San Diego Regional HIE), San Diego, CA

• San Diego Regional HIE will focus on software development and research of standards, use case and community testing, production deployment, pilots, tutorials, and population health, and consent management. They will also develop and make available a FHIR Consent Implementation Guide (IG) and package of open-source prototypes and content to assist partners in using the FHIR Consent Resource.

• University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), Austin, TX

• UT Austin will develop and test a patient-engagement platform to support an ecosystem of mobile applications (apps) intended to enhance opportunities for underrepresented populations to better participate in health research and care, that addresses patient security and privacy needs, utilizing user-centered design approaches, and will allow for appropriate data sharing from disparate sources across patients, clinicians, and researchers.