A $15 million project, funded by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to define an application programming interface for electronic health records, could turn EHRs into effective public health tools at the point of care in fighting Ebola.

Kenneth Mandl, M.D., professor at Harvard Medical School and chair of the informatics program at Boston Children's Hospital, led a four-year project to develop a SMART (Substitutable Medical Apps and Reusable Technologies) platform architecture that he argues is desperately needed in the current battle against Ebola to enable EHR systems to fill the gaps between public health and clinical care.

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