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Project HealthDesign: Rethinking the Power and Potential of Personal Health Records:

 Is a $10-million national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) created to stimulate innovation in personal health information technology.

The first round of funding, which received additional support from the California HealthCare Foundation, focused on stimulating innovation in the development of personal health record applications through:

  • supporting design and prototyping efforts that focus on the needs, preferences, and living environments of individuals; and
  • promoting a systems approach to personal health records, in which an unlimited array of personal health applications can be built on top of a common platform of core data elements and technical utilities.

Nine multidisciplinary teams created a range of tools that addressed specific but complex self- management tasks – from a cell-phone-enabled medication management system that alerts children with cystic fibrosis when to take certain medicines, to a personal digital assistant that collects and supports self-reported pain and activity data.

By using a common platform, these teams:

  • worked closely with individuals and families to develop designs and prototypes for specific personal health applications that can be built upon a common platform; and
  • engaged in a collaborative process with other grantees to identify requirements for a common platform that can support the personal health applications they are designing.

For information more information about the first-round grantee projects and to view the products of their work, see

The Second Round, currently underway, focuses on identifying, interpreting, and integrating Observations of Daily Living (ODLs) into every day life and clinical practice by way of robust, fault tolerant systems that align PHRs with local, state, federal regulations.

The nuance of this round is on creating a tool which not only captures a range of ODLs that people will use, but that will present data to providers in a way that is meaningful and integrates with ease into their workflow and their process of determining patient care. During the two-year initiative, teams will work with clinical partners and patients with two or more chronic conditions to:

  • Identify, capture and store several types of ODLs for their target patient population;
  • Analyze and interpret ODL data to extract clinically useful information; • Use this information to provide feedback to patients so that they can better manage their conditions and improve their health;
  • Enable patients to share this information with their doctors, nurses and other members of their clinical care team;
  • Identify and explain opportunities and challenges associated with this overall approach to policymakers and clinical leaders

The new dimension for the common platform in this phase advocates a three-layer model of PHRs:

  1. PHR applications that contribute to and build off data stored in,
  2. PHR platform services (e.g. Dossia, Google Health, HealthVault) that draw data from,
  3. data sources, such as physician offices, pharmacies, etc. involved in health care delivery.

Like in Round 1, groups will work collaboratively with other teams to facilitate the development process.

Awards will be announced in December, 2009.





Date last modified: 06/12/2005 09:34:36 AM CST
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