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Advisory Committee Signals New Phase for SMART Platforms Project

April 15, 2014
by David Raths
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Committee members’ organizations, all SMART apps users, will seek to expand impact

The SMART Platforms project at Boston Children’s Hospital, which is developing an apps platform for healthcare, is shifting into a higher gear with the formation of an advisory committee to guide the organization on strategy, technical approach and business development. All of the organizations represented on the board are working with SMART apps.

SMART, which stands for Substitutable Medical Apps & Reusable Technology, has been able to demonstrate that an iPhone-like platform and apps-store approach is viable, said Kenneth Mandl, M.D., M.P.H., a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Boston Children's Hospital Chair in Biomedical Informatics and Population Health. At the most recent HIMSS conference in Orlando, Mandl said, his team saw SMART apps running on multiple EHR systems, such as Intermountain’s homegrown system. (Cerner is also working on SMART apps.) “It is mature enough for organizations to use without our supervision,” he said. “Now we want to bake it into customer demands and have more demonstrations of its use and more apps created,” Mandl said. The advisory committee will help SMART develop some concrete projects in the medication management space. “They will help us find the channels and amplify our voice.” They may also help define a governance model for app standards, he added.

Here is a list of the advisory committee members:

The Advisory Board Company - Glenn Tobin

AARP - Jody Holtzman

BMJ - Carolyn Wong Simpkins

Canadian Institutes of Health Research - Robyn Tamblyn

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - Patrick Conway

England National Health Service - Professor Sir Muir Gray

Hospital Corporation of America - Jim Jirjis, and Clint Jennings

Eli Lilly and Company - Thomas Krohn

MyHealthBook - Jeremy Sohn

Polyglot Systems - R.J. Sims Preston

Surescripts - Ryan Hess

Susannah Fox

Clayton Christensen

Aneesh Chopra, former Chief Technology Officer of the U.S., is an alternate.

Mandl noted that as an example, one of the members, Hospital Corporation of America, is very interested in SMART apps development. "It speaks to them both from the potential to curb costs in customizing health IT solutions and as a potential way to create value for HCA from the apps that it develops," he explained.

The project, which has about 15 staff members working on it, will remain within the Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School organization, he said.

In a separate development, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute recently awarded Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's a $7 million grant to build a 10-site clinical research network called "Scalable Collaborative Infrastructure for a Learning Healthcare System," which will rely on SMART apps.