Yale researchers develop technology to expand patient access to records, research participation

Yale School of Medicine researchers have created a new health IT platform that will improve patients' access to their electronic health records and their participation in research studies.

The technology, developed with Yale-New Haven Health System, is a "novel," secure, cloud-based health platform that allows people to access EHRs from more than one healthcare system and "synchronize" them with a research database. Dubbed Hugo, the platform enables patients to acquire their data in one place and carry their own health records. They also can add patient-generated information from wearable devices and questionnaires. The platform will "harness" large amounts of data.

The technology also enables patients to authorize researchers to use their data, and it is expected that this patient engagement will improve research and enable it to be conducted less expensively.

The first research study using Hugo will examine readmissions and emergency department uses after patient discharge. About 20 to 30 percent of people readmitted end up at a different hospital from the one which they were discharged, which makes it harder to study readmission rates and risk factors, according to Yale's announcement. The study supports Sync for Science, the Precision Medicine initiative launched earlier this year by President Obama.

"In the future we want to conduct research in partnership with people--not as subjects, but as our partners," Joanne Waldstreicher, chief medical officer of Johnson & Johnson, said in the announcement. "Hugo holds the promise to empower people with their data and will create innumerable opportunities for them to participate in programs and projects that are customized to their interests and needs--and provides opportunities to be part of communities that contribute to knowledge that will help us all."

To learn more:
- read the announcement