ONC Names San Diego HIE, UT Austin 2019 LEAP in Health IT Awardees

Sept. 11, 2019
The organizations will receive funding to work on interoperability- and patient engagement-focused solutions

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has announced two awards under the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects in Health IT funding opportunity, designed to advance healthcare interoperability.

The 2019 awardees are the San Diego Regional Health Information Exchange (HIE) and the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). According to ONC officials, the two new LEAP in Health IT awardees will look “to address fast emerging and future challenges to advance the development and use of interoperable health IT.” Each organization will receive about $1 million in funding.

More specifically, the solicited applications focused on one of two areas of interest: 1) the standardization and implementation of scalable Health Level 7 International’s (HL7) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) Consent Resource; and 2) to design, develop, and demonstrate enhanced patient engagement technologies for care and research.

The 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 and package of open-source prototypes and content to assist partners in using the FHIR Consent Resource, according to ONC.

UT Austin, meanwhile, will work on will developing and testing a patient-engagement platform to support an ecosystem of mobile 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, ONC officials said.

“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, M.D., national coordinator for health IT.

Last year’s LEAP in Health IT awardees were Children’s Hospital Corporation, based in Boston, and MedStar Health Research Institute, in Hyattsville, Md. Those organizations were funded to work on expanding the scope, scale, and utility of population-level data-focused application programming interfaces (APIs); or (2) advancing clinical knowledge at the point of care.

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