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Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today kicked off a landmark program to design and test bold ideas for how consumers can use information technology to better manage their health and navigate the health care system. Project HealthDesign: Rethinking the Power and Potential of Personal Health Records, a $4.1 million initiative, has selected eight multidisciplinary teams that will build new tools that advance the field of personal health record (PHR) systems. Grant teams will work collaboratively to design and test a suite of PHR applications that can be built upon a common platform to help people better meet their health care needs in an integrated fashion. Such PHR tools may remind a patient to take medications, provide tailored decision prompts to help people adhere to treatment regimens for diabetes or pain therapy, or transmit data to providers—such as blood pressure readings or exercise levels—that are collected from patient self-testing and biomonitoring devices in the home. "It's not just the wider use of personal health records or online access to the data they store that is so revolutionary," said Stephen Downs, S.M., RWJF senior program officer and deputy director of the Health Group. "Project HealthDesign is challenging the PHR field to focus on the potential for patients, providers and caregivers to use this information to improve their health. The design of the systems over which this information flows is critical, and that is why we’re excited to support the efforts of these technology pioneers to develop the next generation of PHR systems."
New York, NY– "Connecting for Health applauds Secretary Leavitt for moving the nation much closer to the day when patients and medical professionals will be able to exchange potentially lifesaving health information in a secure and private manner. By selecting Connecting for Health’s three community electronic health information exchange to serve as a prototype for the nation, the Secretary has acknowledged the major contribution made to health information technology by the hundreds of organizations involved in Connecting for Health. With the support of the federal government, Connecting for Health will help deliver what the American people want -- a fully connected health care system in the 21st century." - Carol Diamond, M.D., Managing Director, Markle Foundation; Chair, Connecting for Health Background Michael O. Leavitt, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, announced the award of a contract today to the Connecting for Health team to make its three-community health information exchange a prototype for nationwide health information exchange. The Secretary also awarded 3 other related contracts today to develop the nationwide electronic exchange of health information.