SMART Platforms Tries to Spur App-Driven Health Economy

The SMART (Substitutable Medical Apps & Reusable Technology) Platforms project at Boston Children’s Hospital — which is developing technology to create an app-driven health information economy — has formed an advisory committee that will guide the project on strategy, technical approach and business development.

The advisory committee brings together representatives from the private, nonprofit, and government sectors.

SMART seeks to provide a flexible information infrastructure that facilitates innovation in wellness, healthcare, and public health by breaking down existing barriers, providing an interface that will create a broad market for apps developers and a wide selection of apps for users of health IT. The project was born of a 2009 editorial published in the New England Journal of Medicine by Kenneth Mandl, M.D., and Isaac Kohane, M.D., co-directors of the SMART project. In it, the pair called for a fundamental shift in the health IT landscape, one based on reimagining healthcare IT systems as iPhone-like platforms that could run substitutable apps.

“This is a signal moment in the evolution of health IT,” said Kohane. “Following the government’s $48 billion investment to promote uptake, more than 50 percent of care settings now have electronic health records. But to leverage this investment and transform healthcare into a data-driven enterprise, the medical-industrial complex must freely innovate at the point of care and with patients at home, and at scale.”

The members of the advisory committee will be tasked with supporting and guiding the platform’s leadership team in extending SMART across diverse applications and ensuring its widespread availability. For a list of the committee membership, click here.

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