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AMA News Room

June 11, 2015

AMA Board Member Joins SMART Platforms Advisory Committee

For immediate release:
June 11, 2015

New collaboration with leaders in health, technology and innovation aims to reimagine and improve health IT

CHICAGO – The American Medical Association (AMA) announced today that AMA Board Member Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH, has been named to the advisory committee of the Substitutable Medical Applications & Reusable Technology (SMART) Platforms project.

The goal of the SMART project, which was spawned at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, is to ensure electronic health record (EHR) systems work better for physicians and patients. A key component of this effort is the development of a flexible information infrastructure that allows for free, open development of plug and play applications (apps) to increase interoperability among health care technologies, including EHRs, in a more cost-effective way.

 “As a strong supporter of innovation, the AMA is excited to be a part of this project,” said Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH. “It is important that physicians are involved throughout the development process to ensure new health technologies fully live up to their potential to enhance care and increase safety and efficiency. The SMART project has the potential to improve technology usability and utility for both patients and physicians, which would improve health outcomes and quality while driving down costs.”

The SMART project was created following the release of the 2009 paper in the New England Journal of Medicine, “No Small Change for the Health Information Economy,” which proposed a fundamental shift in the health IT marketplace - reimagining health IT as a smartphone-like platform that can run substitutable apps. This approach has the ability to accelerate innovation that can accommodate differences in care workflow, drive down health care technology costs while fostering competition in the market.  

"AMA joining the SMART Platforms Advisory Committee is a signal event," said Kenneth Mandl, MD, MPH, of the Boston Children's Informatics Program (CHIP) and Harvard Medical School and chair of the SMART Platforms Advisory Committee. "Physicians - the usersof health information technology - have been left out of the equation of design of their EHRs. The SMART interface, which enables EHRs to run apps just like iPhones and Androids, is designed to give doctors a huge choice of innovative apps to use in the care of their patients and management of populations."

A successful deployment of the SMART platforms by an EHR vendor could help operationalize many of the functionalities included in the AMA’s framework for improving EHR usability including improving care coordination, increasing interoperability, product modularity and configurability, facilitating digital and mobile patient engagement and promoting data liquidity.

“The SMART project strongly aligns with the broad and robust work the AMA is doing to transform health care through technology innovation,” said Dr. Ehrenfeld.

Recently, the AMA launched a collaboration with MATTER, a technology incubator in Chicago, to create an interaction studio that will enable entrepreneurs and physicians to work together on the development of new technologies, services and products in a simulated health care environment. The AMA/MATTER partnership will also include a variety of educational workshops, interactive simulations and collaboration events focused on optimizing health care – specifically clinician-patient interactions. Read more about the AMA’s partnership with MATTER here.


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Randi Kahn
AMA Media & Editorial
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