The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has announced a $60 million grant program to support advanced research covering health information technology.

The Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects initiative, called SHARP, will focus on four areas where breakthrough advances are needed to address barriers to the adoption and meaningful use of information technology, according to ONC. The target areas are:

* Enhancing security and risk mitigation policies and technologies to build and preserve public trust;
* Harnessing the power of health IT in a patient focused manner and aligning the technology with the day-to-day practice of medicine;
* Developing new application and network platform architectures to achieve electronic exchange of health data in a secure, private and accurate manner; and
* Identifying strategies to enhance secure secondary use of electronic health record data to improve quality of care, population health and clinical research.

Projects awarded grant funds will last for four years. The funding is authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. More information is available at http://healthit.hhs.gov.

--Joseph Goedert

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