Kohane Commentary on Grande et al Findings

JAMA Int Med: Secondary Use of Health Information: Are We Asking the Right Question?A report on “Public Preferences About Secondary Uses of Electronic Health Information” has just been published by a group of researchers led by Dr. David Grande at UPenn’s medical school. The publishing journal, JAMA Internal Medicine, also invited SMART Co-Director Zak Kohane to comment. His remarks appear in Secondary Use of Health Information: Are We Asking the Right Question? and may be read in their entirety by enlarging the image on the right. (A subscription is required to access the articles’ full texts.)

Dr. Kohane’s piece makes reference to i2b2, another initiative he directs, which is a clinical discovery system geared for just such secondary use of data. Deployed at a number of institutions across the country, the i2b2 platform allows researchers to select de-identified patients based on demographics and clinical criteria.

We have converted i2b2 into a SMART “container” following three basic steps: data is exposed through the SMART API; apps run within the existing system’s user interface; and appropriate authentication has been implemented. The result is the ability for SMART apps to interact with the data stored in i2b2.

An example of one of these apps is the Problem-Oriented Medical Record (aka Patient Summarizer). In this video, the i2b2 web client is used to select Spanish-speaking females aged 35-54; data from individual patient records (without PHI) are then viewed in a much more intuitive way than they are presented by default, thanks to the additional SMART functionality.

Also see coverage of the report and commentary in FierceHealthIT (August 20), iHealthBeat (August 21), and ModernHealthcare.com (August 23).