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Innovative Partnerships for Health IT

Innovative Health Information Technology for Broad Adoption by Healthcare Systems and Consumers (R44)

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently announced a new Program Announcement, aimed at accelerating the development and commercialization of consumer health information technology products that translate the behavioral and communication science evidence base for the prevention and control of cancer and other chronic diseases. The NCI and the National Library of Medicine (a co-funding partner) are interested in supporting the development and dissemination of evidence-based health information technology (health IT) products that have the potential to:

  • Prevent or reduce the risk of cancer
  • Facilitate patient-provider communication and/or
  • Improve disease outcomes in consumer and clinical settings

A non-exclusive list of product examples relevant to the FOA are provided below.

To view the full FOA, please visit:
Receipt Dates: April 7, August 5, December 5

Applicants who have already been funded a Phase I SBIR applicable to this PA may submit a Phase II; others may submit a Fast Track application. This PA is unlike any other in that applicants are strongly advised to establish a partnership with large businesses (e.g., commercial IT firms, EMR vendors, healthcare systems/payers, pharma, healthcare organizations, etc.) before the application is submitted. Your partner will be responsible for assisting you in preparing your commercialization plan, advising you during the grant process and ultimately disseminating/commercializing your product. Partners in this PA will be asked to sign a legal document, before the grant commences, that addresses intellectual property and profit sharing. Applicants who adhere to these requests will receive competitive preference and funding priority.

Please click here to view a sample SBIR partnership IP agreement.

Develop Tools for patients, caregivers, and consumers that:

  • Help them better understand their role in making choices about their health.
  • Enhance their self-awareness and identify strengths, vulnerabilities, limitations, personal beliefs, emotions, and experiences that impact health. Products should utilize inter-personal skills, information processing skills, and cultural aspects, and assist individuals in how to listen to their body to improve physical and emotional self-awareness.
  • Teach them how to make informed health choices, such as by improving dietary practices and increasing physical activity.
  • Teach them how to communicate and share decisions with their primary care professionals and their care givers.
  • Inform them about health care costs of tests and procedures.
  • Train them to refer to web-based and other electronic solutions to assist them in life style changes.
  • Provide models to motivate them to become active participants in their wellness plan.
  • Motivate participation in chronic disease screening or treatment.
  • Provide on-line appointment systems to enable them to identify which providers are available when and where, with the ability to make and change appointments online.
  • Prevent or stop tobacco use among children and adults in vulnerable, high-risk populations.
  • Better inform children, teens, and young adults about the seriousness of sun exposure.
  • Improve comprehension of basic health-related materials, such as understanding instructions on prescription bottles and appointment slips.
  • Support caregiver needs and promote patient- and family-centered care.
  • Educate them about genetic testing, and how to make informed and appropriate decisions when surrounded by current news and research advances.
  • Improve patient-provider communication to help patients and caregivers make better decisions.
  • Teach patients and caregivers to use telehealth technologies for remote or home use.
  • Provide them with user-friendly commercial systems similar to GPS that tell the user where to go and what to do, once diagnosed.

Develop tools for providers that:

  • Provide clinicians and other health care professionals with an interoperable EMR model that allows access to a patient’s medical records in any clinical setting in the United States.
  • Provide access to timely guidelines, protocols, and/or disease-specific information at the point of care.
  • Provide information about specific chronic diseases, from prevention through treatment to survivorship and end-of-life issues, including palliative care and pain management that are consistent with the current recommendations from the Institute of Medicine.
  • Provide a diagnostic system of care management and care coordination.
  • Utilize sensors for point-of-care diagnosis, or telehealth technologies for remote or home diagnosis and monitoring.
  • Provide easy ordering for tests and access to results.
  • Include a "reminder platform" about appropriate initial and follow-up ages for screening, treatment, and long-term monitoring of specific chronic diseases.
  • Improve flagging for routine checkup and follow-up reminders for appointments.
  • Include pros and cons of screening, and track patient compliance with outcome measures.
  • Report daily patient updates, alerts, and care plans for discharged patients.
  • Track long-term patient care via communication with patients, providers, and payers.
  • Determine eligibility for health insurance claims.
  • Improve physician workflow.
  • Include stakeholder incentives and benefits to patients, family members, and health care professionals.
  • Improve the ability to exchange messages between physicians, patients, and caregivers.
  • Provide best practice information on how to effectively communicate uncertainty about risks, such as tools that assist physicians in maximizing communication about chronic diseases and all aspects of care to various ethnic populations.
  • Provide interactive communication management programs for chronic disease–related situations, i.e., smoking cessation, weight reduction, and exercise programs.
  • Improve communication about accurate prognoses, patient values, and references at end-of-life.
  • Train physicians and other primary care providers about end-of-life care issues and the importance of: emotional support, projecting hope, communicating with patients and their families, accessibility, palliative care and access to a palliative care team or pain service, the shift to end-of-life care and adequate pain control, ethical training to negotiate diverse changing norms regarding end-of-life decision making, psycho-social issues, spiritual matters, difficult-to-raise topics, living wills, and support systems for caregivers.
  • Provide assistance with blood pressure management, anticoagulant management, antibiotic selection in complex cases, and surgical interventions.
  • Utilize family history as a predictor of chronic diseases.
  • Stress holistic and complementary approaches to traditional medicine.
  • Include patient strengths and challenges in personalized records.
  • Can track long term effects of preventive health behaviors, i.e., exercise, diet, change in medication, and/or stress reduction.
  • Assist the health care provider with information delivery strategies and approaches to use with patients, self-documenting environments, and model-based decision supports.
  • Permit:
    • Efficient scoring of and feedback on system features in readily understood and actionable formats for consumers, patients, caregivers, and health care professionals.
    • Customization of local settings on features such as input and output modalities (e.g., web, EHR/PHR, scan able paper and pencil surveys/ print outs, fax, etc.).
    • Tailored feedback providing options for health counseling and self-management support.
    • Options and links to community resources to support health behavior change.