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Innovative RWJF Program Leverages Health IT to Improve Chronic Disease Care

On Wednesday, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced the five teams it has selected to participate in an innovative national program called Project HealthDesign: Rethinking the Power and Potential of Personal Health Records. This project has enormous potential to transform chronic disease management and enhance patient engagement in their own care by leveraging health information technology (health IT), including consumer-facing tools like smart phones and personal health records (PHRs). CDT is enthusiastic about Project HealthDesign and is partnering with Manatt, Phelps, & Phillips, LLP (Manatt) to serve as regulatory and assurance advisors to the project.  
Project HealthDesign was launched in 2006 with a vision to stimulate innovation in the design, development and use of personal heath information technologies.  One of the key lessons learned from the project’s early work is that a person’s health status – and sense of well-being – are influenced as much or more by basic life activities than information from official health records. This new phase of the project is exploring how to improve the health and well-being of people with chronic diseases by helping them capture, understand, interpret and act upon information based on patterns they notice in their everyday lives (conceptualized as observations of daily living or ODLs). The project also will explore practical ways to capture and integrate these patient-recorded ODLs into the clinical care process. 
In its role as an advisor to Project HealthDesign, CDT and Manatt will provide the Project HealthDesign teams with legal and policy advice with respect to the integration of patient-generated ODLs into PHRs and applicable laws and regulations that may affect data-sharing between patients and doctors (and with third-party health applications). CDT also will contribute to the greater Project HealthDesign goal of supporting public policy that encourages continued innovation with respect to PHRs and other health IT tools that allow patients to better engage in, and exercise greater control of, their own health care.

CDT looks forward to working with the Project HealthDesign teams and will be posting regular blog posts on the legal, regulatory and policy issues related to the project at Teams will also be providing frequent updates on their progress here. We encourage you to visit this site!