Advisory committee focus is on 'SMART' mobile app innovation

An advisory committee focusing on mHealth software innovation is now in place for the Substitutable Medical Apps & Reusable Technology (SMART) project, with the goal of making mobile healthcare apps easy to develop, easy to use and easy to find in a one-stop shopping spot.

Heading up the SMART Platforms advisory committee is Kenneth Mandl, a professor at Harvard Medical School and chairman in bioinformatics and population health at Boston Children's Hospital, according to an announcement.

The federally-funded SMART project was created four years ago with a $15 million contract. It is tasked with fostering interoperable app innovations in the healthcare realm. The committee focuses on extending software innovation and providing scale for use in the healthcare sector.

"We have exceeded our own expectations, creating live deployments of apps on major vendor electronic health record products, across institutions on open source health data platforms, and on data made liquid by new standardized communication between IT systems," states Mandl. "The SMART model is viable, and without it, innovators in health IT cannot achieve scale."

The news arrives as mobile apps are quickly becoming mainstay healthcare tools being used everywhere from admitting processes at hospitals, to providing real-time patient data in emergency rooms and trauma centers to helping patients recover from cardiac surgery and helping military service personnel injured in service.

At the same time lawmakers are debating how mobile apps should be viewed, and regulated, as some are morphing into medical devices given the use of smartphones. The topic is a hot debate as industry groups, medical organizations, device vendors and lawmakers all want a say in determining federal agency oversight.

The SMART effort is being led by Harvard Medical School in collaboration with Children's Hospital Boston, Partners Healthcare, the Regenstrief Institute, the University of Texas and the University of Wisconsin. The apps focus is the final of four SMART projects. 

For more info:
-  read the announcement
read who's on the committee

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