SMART App Challenge Launched on

Recently, one of the recipients of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) announced a milestone.  Researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, have developed SMART, a unique platform architecture to support a flexible health information technology (IT) environment.

To kick off the start of this new platform and to promote open innovation, SMART (a consortium member on health2challenge) is holding a $5,000 competition, challenging developers to create web applications that provide specific functionality for patients, physicians, or for public health. The ONC Health Information Technology has just posted the SMART Apps Challenge on and further registration details can be found on the SMART Platforms site. 

First described in a New England Journal of Medicine Perspectives article, the SMART architecture is an “iPhone-like” health IT platform model that aims to make it easier to replace one application with another of similar functionality – it allows the administrator of a system to replace one application with another without being a technical expert, without requiring re-engineering of other applications they are using, and without having to seek assistance from any of the vendors of previously or currently installed applications.

In essence, the SMART team is researching how medicine might learn from the successful implementation of IT in other sectors.  A flexible platform could theoretically drive down health care technology development costs, support standards evolution, accommodate difference in care workflow, foster the development of an apps marketplace, and accelerate innovation.

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