CTA and ONC Collaborate to Establish Consumer eHealth Affinity Group

7/28/11 By David Lindeman

One of the unexpected benefits of the mHealth Diffusion Grants Program is the opportunity it has offered to work with the Beacon Community Program, a program of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology. The Center for Technology and Aging (CTA) is pleased to be partnering with the Beacon Community Program to create an affinity group (learning collaborative) focused on Consumer eHealth. The goal of this affinity group is to facilitate communication on best practices for technology-enabled interventions, share lessons learned, and foster future collaborations.

‘Consumer eHealth’ is a broad term that can include a wide range of technologies. In the case of this initiative, consumer eHealth includes the full array of health information technologies that allow consumers to be active participants in their health care, including technologies typically referred to as “remote patient monitoring,” “telehealth,” and “mobile health.” Many aspects of these interventions have overlapping barriers and implementation strategies. This new collaborative will enable CTA grantees and Beacon Communities to share experiences in developing and implementing a diverse group of programs, ranging from remote patient monitoring for CHF patients to mHealth programs for diabetes self-management. The Consumer eHealth affinity group will allow the participants to collaborate on issues that include strengthening program evaluation, increasing provider/patient adoption, and improving workflow processes, among others.

The Beacon Community Program is a capstone to a broad federal strategy to support new ways of coordinating care, improving patient health, and reducing costs. The seventeen Beacon Communities are expanding their health IT resources as a foundation for bringing doctors, hospitals, community health programs, federal programs and patients together to design new ways of improving quality and efficiency to benefit patients and taxpayers. Bringing together the experience, broad expertise, and diverse approaches of Beacon communities and CTA grantees will result in a learning laboratory, whose findings and lessons will be rapidly disseminated to the field.

Important mHealth Dates

Optional Applicant Conference Call March 15, 2011

Letter of Intent Due
April 5, 2011

Full Grant Proposal Guidelines Released April 13, 2011

Full Proposals Due
May 13, 2011

Final Grant Award Decision
June 15, 2011

Expected Date for Grants to Commence August 1, 2011

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