Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Report Submitted to the President

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) submitted the report “Designing a Digital Future: Federally Funded R&D in Networking and Information Technology” to the President on January 17, 2013.The report reviews the part that health IT plays in delivering mechanisms for health and well-being.

The report states that there is tremendous potential in the use of networking and information technology to develop new capabilities in medical devices, to increase data-driven development, discover new drug therapies, provide secure and robustly available health records, and to use technology to help in health maintenance. 

Several institutes within NIH have technology programs that go beyond EHRs. There are also health IT projects within the Big Data Initiative for both data collection and data analytics and within the National Robotics Initiative for both surgery and prosthesis.

According to the report, there has been progress in interagency collaboration on health IT. The Networking and Information Technology R&D (NITRD) program within the Executive Office of the President through their National Coordination Office (NCO) established the Health Information Technology R&D Senior Steering Group (SSG). The SSG developed the report, “Federal Health IT R&D Recommendations” which is currently under review by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

NCO also established the Health Information Technology Innovation and Development Environments (HITIDE) subgroup to coordinate agency activities in health IT. HITIDE is working on plans to develop federated national testbeds for interoperable health records and health systems.