SMArt platform needs ‘iPhone-like’ health apps

Government Health IT, March 10, 2011 — Mary Mosquera
Programmers and developers can win $5,000 for creating online tools that offer specific functionality for patients, physicians and public health on an “íPhone-like” health IT platform model, which is now publicly available…

Race is on for iPhone-like health IT apps

Healthcare IT News, March 10, 2011 — Bernie Monegain
A new platform created specifically to boost healthcare IT innovation is now available to the public, kicking off a $5,000 competition that challenges developers to create Web applications for patients, physicians and public health…

Harvard, Boston Children’s open $5,000 app challenge to free EHR data

mobihealthnews, March 10, 2011 — Neil Versel
Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School this week opened a previously announced competition to develop “iPhone-like” applications to help unlock data stored in electronic health records. While the focus is on Web apps, the federally funded contest is encouraging submissions for mobile tablets, with a promise of “further optimization for smaller screens” such as smartphones by summer…

Boston researchers develop app platform

Modern Healthcare, March 9, 2011 — Joseph Conn
Federally funded researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School have released a healthcare interoperability platform and interface “to support a flexible health information technology environment and promote innovation,” according to a news release…

SMART: A Facebook-like platform for medical apps

The Healthcare IT Guy, March 9, 2011 — Shahid Shah
Today, Wil Yu (Special Assistant, Innovations) over at ONC wrote about a new innovation challenge that is giving out money to developers who can create micro apps that run in the new SMART architecture containers. If you’re not familiar with SMART and want a technical introduction, head over to the SMART Wiki; if you just want a quick overview from the business side, check out the home page…

A SHARP Milestone – A New Innovation Challenge

Health IT Buzz, March 8, 2011 — Wil Yu
Today one of the recipients of the ONC’s Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) announced a major milestone Exit Disclaimer.  Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, leaders of the Healthcare Applications and Networking Platforms SHARP award, announced a major breakthrough having developed a first of  kind platform architecture to support a flexible health information technology (IT) environment and promote innovation…

Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School Aim to Create Health App Store; Launch $5k App Competition

BostInno, March 8, 2011 — Cheryl Morris
New opportunities for innovation in healthcare are everywhere thanks in part to more sophisticated smartphones like the iPhone. And Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School have laid the ground to welcome such innovation, announcing today a $5,000 health app competition alongside release of the equivalent of a health app store…

The SMART Apps Challenge is Live!

The Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology has posted the SMART Apps Challenge on

BOSTON, March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Through a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School have developed a first-of-its kind platform architecture to support a flexible health information technology (IT) environment and promote innovation. The SMArt (Substitutable Medical Applications, reusable technologies) platform and interface are being made publicly available today to kick off the start of a $5,000 competition challenging developers to create web applications that provide specific functionality for patients, physicians, or for public health.

First described in a March 2009 New England Journal of Medicine Perspectives article, the SMArt architecture is an “iPhone-like” health IT platform model that aims to transform the way health IT supports health care by facilitating the development of medical applications that are scalable and substitutable; that will drive competition, innovation, and increased efficiency in the functionality of technology for improved health care.

ONC awarded $15 million to the project in April 2010 through the Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) program. The SMArt project will enable the equivalent of an iTunes App Store for health and support an ecosystem of applications ranging from medication managers for patients at home to e-prescribing applications and decision support for physicians in the office.

“The goal of this model is to enable a substantial shift towards technologies that are flexible and able to quickly adapt to meet the various needs of their users on a variety of devices,” said Kenneth Mandl, M.D., MPH, of the Children’s Hospital Informatics Program and Harvard Medical School, and co-lead on the SMArt project. “As developers begin to compete on quality, value and usability, we expect to see the introduction of an array of innovative functions and a drop in the cost of healthcare technology. Just as staple applications of the iPad, Android, and Blackberry platforms constantly evolve and compete to meet user demands, the SMArt platform will enable health IT to do the same.”

In August, Mandl and Isaac Kohane, M.D., Ph.D., also of CHIP, Harvard Medical School and co-lead on the SMArt project, held a SMArt Developer Meeting which included more than 60 representatives from academia, government and business. Multiple prototypes of the SMArt platform were presented and feedback was collected from software developers and the health IT community. Following that meeting, the team built the SMArt platform architecture and interface that is being made publicly available today.

“There is an enormous talent pool available in our country’s developers and entrepreneurs to help drive new web and mobile health IT solutions that support health care functions,” said Kohane. “Through this competition we hope to excite this pool; to spark their imaginations and partner with them to move new ideas forward.”

“Future developments in health IT should always be driven by empowering physicians and improving patient care,” said Wil Yu, director of the SHARP program at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

Developers interested in learning more about the SMArt project and/or participating in the SMArt health app challenge may visit for complete details and an environment for development. Entrants are eligible to receive an award – $5,000 and release in an “App Store” – for best application.

A panel of industry leaders has been assembled to judge the challenge and will review submitted apps and announce winners in June 2011. Judges will include Susanna Fox, director of Health Research at the Pew Internet & American Life Project; Regina Herzlinger, the Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School; David Kibbe, senior advisor to the American Academy of Family Physicians and principal at The Kibbe Group LLC; Ben Shneiderman, professor of Computer Science at the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland, College Park; Doug Solomon, chief technology officer at IDEO; Edward Tufte, professor emeritus of Political Science, Statistics, and Computer Science at Yale University; and Jim Walker, chief health information officer at Geisenger Health Systems.

Children’s Hospital Boston is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, 12 members of the Institute of Medicine and 13 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children’s Hospital Boston today is a 392-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Children’s also is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about the hospital and its research visit:

Harvard Medical School has more than 7,500 full-time faculty working in 11 academic departments located at the School’s Boston campus or in one of 47 hospital-based clinical departments at 17 Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals and research institutes. Those affiliates include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, Children’s Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Forsyth Institute, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Hebrew SeniorLife, Joslin Diabetes Center, Judge Baker Children’s Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, McLean Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and VA Boston Healthcare System.


Keri Stedman
Children’s Hospital Boston

David Cameron
Harvard Medical School

How SMART addresses the PCAST Report on Health IT

A couple of months ago, The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology issued its Report to the President on Realizing the Full Potential of Health Information Technology to Improve Healthcare for Americans. We want to tell you how SMART fits in.
Continue reading “How SMART addresses the PCAST Report on Health IT”

12 mobile health stories from HIMSS

mobihealthnews, February 24, 2011 — Brian Dolan
A number of longtime HIMSS attendees, including my colleague Neil Versel, pointed out that this year’s event in Orlando, Fla. had renewed energy. The past two years’ events were more staid on account of the down economy. The magicians at vendor booths had less flourish, anyway…