HHS and The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology introduce new Investing in Innovations (i2) Initiative
Could we use this initiative as a way to get medical legal information into public health clinics, hospital waiting rooms, and the like?
Could we train health care providers to act as a gateway to legal information, particularly that relating to public benefits? In a sense such gateways could be modeled on those that we are building for the library community.
Here is more from the HHS announcement.
As part of the initiative’s rollout, ONC has awarded nearly $5 million to the Capital Consulting Corporation (CCC) and Health 2.0 LLC, to fund projects supporting innovations in research and encouraging health IT development through open-innovation mechanisms like prizes and challenges.
“The initiative demonstrates ONC’s recognition of the importance of investing in innovations and provides a platform that will attract an expanded community of innovators to the full range of the agency’s programs. It opens the door to new opportunities for open collaboration from a wide range of diverse individuals and organizations that will increase the national rate of innovation and adoption of health IT as we improve health care of all Americans,” said Farzad Mostashari, M.D., Sc.M., national coordinator for health information technology.
The i2 Initiative will consult stakeholders across the health care sector including hospitals, doctors, consumers, payers, states, employers, advocates, and relevant federal agencies to obtain direct input on execution and to build partnerships.
The core of the i2 Initiative is an effort to use prizes and challenges to facilitate innovation and obtain solutions to identified health IT challenges. Recognizing the promise of prizes and challenges, the President has called on agencies to promote innovation by using such innovation tools to address intractable problems. The use of prizes and competitions is widely regarded as a powerful tool to attract innovators from all walks of life to address hard problems with the added benefit of only rewarding best-in-class work. The approach makes possible rapid response to emerging issues that are difficult to address with more traditional funding approaches.
Even if this initiative is not the best path, surely there must be one we can take. Right now this is a huge missed opportunity. The whole idea of a national legal information website network was that we could be able to market effectively to potential access networks. This opportunity remains far from fully exploited.
We discussed the questions you raised here and in your early June post about community health centers on today’s LawHelp Coordinators network call. Several states have existing medical-legal initiatives where there may be an opportunity to develop broader access partnerships. Thanks for highlighting this and sparking the conversation.