Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine has launched a new highly secure cloud-based personal health platform that enables people to access their EHRs from multiple health care systems and synchronize them with a research database. That platform named Hugo was developed developed in partnership with Yale New Haven Health System and is designed to be user-friendly allowing people to contribute information from wearable devices and questionnaires.
Research Study Overview
Krumholz and Dr. Allen Hsiao, associate professor of pediatrics and of emergency medicine and chief medical information office for Yale School of Medicine and Yale New Haven Health System has been tasked to lead the first research study using Hugo PHR platform. The study will examine hospital readmission and emergency department use after hospital discharge.
The study is partially funded by the Yale Clinical and Translational Science Award grant from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health.
Approximately 20% to 30% of patients who need to be readmitted to the hospital are admitted to a different facility. This presents challenges when studying readmission rates and risk factors because researchers must manually track down and collect this information.
Hugo PHR Platform Overview
Patients using the Hugo platform will authorize researchers to use their data, which can be pulled from disparate EHR systems and will be synchronized, and organized so that it is suitable for research.
The study supports Sync-for-Science, a concept promoted by the National Institutes of Health Precision Medicine Initiative, which seeks to better engage people in research and promote their ability to obtain their own data and decide whether they want it used for research.
“In the future we want to conduct research in partnership with people — not as subjects, but as our partners,” said Joanne Waldstreicher, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Johnson & Johnson. “Hugo holds the promise to empower people with their data and will create innumerable opportunities for them to participate in programs and projects that are customized to their interests and needs — and provides opportunities to be part of communities that contribute to knowledge that will help us all.”
The benefits of enabling data to flow more easily extend beyond research. Patients face the same hurdles as researchers in accessing their health information from different health systems. Hugo is designed to enable patients to acquire their data in a single platform for their own use, for example when seeking a second opinion, and increase transparency in health care. It will also allow them to be the carriers of their longitudinal health records.
Although the study is on a small scale, Yale hopes it will help establish a foundation for researchers to be able to do large studies much less expensively than before and in far greater partnership with patients, Krumholz said.
“This could be a game changer. Hugo harnesses the very latest in digital health technology and puts patients in the center, making them true research partners,” said Dr. Harlan Krumholz, the Harold H. Hines Jr. Professor of Medicine, director of the Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation(CORE) at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and a developer of Hugo.