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Precision Medicine Initiative Seeks More IDN Participants to Expand Cohort Program

August 11, 2016
by David Raths
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With launch planned this fall, PMI looking for providers with substantial EHR data experience to allow for a quick start

In July 2016 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued grant awards to build the foundational partnerships and infrastructure needed to launch the Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program this fall. It is now reaching out to integrated delivery networks (IDNs) with a funding opportunity to expand the Cohort Program’s reach.

The initial awards support a data and research support center (Vanderbilt), participant technologies center (Scripps), a biobank (Mayo Clinic) and four healthcare provider organizations (HPOs) to help build the cohort of one million or more U.S volunteers (Columbia, Northwestern, University of Arizona, and University of Pittsburgh).

NIH now hopes to add more IDNs and other large regional medical centers to the consortium. Priority will be given to IDNs that provide an added benefit to the existing consortium through the geographic regions they serve, the diversity of their patient population, their substantial EHR data experience, their capacity, and other key experience and expertise that will allow for a quick start and to complement the current award recipients, the agency said.

The HPOs responding to this funding opportunity are expected to have long-standing relationships of trust with their patients and to be able to make available a longitudinal record of care through their EHR.

There are currently three types of HPOs within the PMI Cohort Program. The first type is the regional medical center (RMC) HPO; the second type is community health center HPO, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs); and the third type is the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) HPO.

Among other responsibilities, HPOs contribute to the PMI Cohort Program by engaging, enrolling, and retaining participants, fostering study participation, collecting data and biospecimens, conducting physical evaluations, and cultivating ongoing participant engagement over the life of the program. The program will utilize a variety of data collection methods over the life of the Cohort Program, including mobile technologies, additional research questionnaires, collection of baseline and longitudinal data from EHRs, and collection and analyses of other biospecimens.

The PMI model seeks patient input and patient-generated data. Participants will be the primary source of many research observations, providers of information about their health and experiences, consultants on proposed research studies, mediators of access to their healthcare data, contributors to overall data quality control, donators of data from six mobile and wearable devices, and recipients of their own as well as aggregate data and analysis results, according to their preferences.

Applications are due by Aug. 29. Awards made through this funding opportunity will support a 12-month, milestone-driven feasibility phase. Applicants successful under this mechanism may have the possibility of competing for a 4-year full implementation phase through a subsequent funding opportunity announcement (FOA) that will be issued in FY2017.







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