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Dartmouth receives $3 million NSF grant to improve health care’s information technology

A multidisciplinary group of Dartmouth researchers recently received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop secure and trustworthy computing systems for health-care settings. This funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), the national economic stimulus bill.

Researchers

Trustworthy Information Systems (TISH) researchers Eric Johnson, Sean Smith, David Kotz, Denise Anthony, and Andrew Gettinger are collaborating on a project to improve health-care IT systems. (Photo by Joseph Mehling ’69)

The three-year Trustworthy Information Systems for Healthcare (TISH) project aims to improve the security and effectiveness of information technology infrastructure in the healthcare industry. This will help the health-care system meet two of its most significant challenges of the 21st century: improving the quality of care and controlling costs.

TISH will address fundamental challenges in information security in health care, such as protecting the security of clinical information while ensuring that clinicians have access, and enhancing the collection of data from wearable sensor devices to enable physicians to better monitor patients’ health with both security and privacy in mind.

“Health-care information systems, a key part of ARRA, are important for many pending health-care reform proposals,” says David Kotz, the principal investigator for TISH and professor of computer science. “Developing, deploying, and using information technology that is both secure and genuinely effective in the complex clinical, organizational, and economic environment of health care is a significant challenge.”

Denise Anthony, part of the TISH team and the research director at Dartmouth’s Institute for Security, Technology, and Society (ISTS), adds, “As President Obama has made clear, the vision for a 21st-century health system requires all health information in electronic form, delivered instantly and securely to individuals and their care providers when needed, and it should be capable of analysis for constant improvement and research.” Anthony is also associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology.

The TISH team brings a multidisciplinary approach. Dartmouth’s ISTS was instrumental in bringing together faculty from departments across campus, and in recruiting partners from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vt., Intel Labs, and Google.

In addition to Kotz and Anthony, Dartmouth representatives on the TISH team include Andrew Gettinger, senior medical director of information systems and informatics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and an associate professor of anesthesiology at Dartmouth Medical School; Sean Smith, associate professor of computer science; Tanzeem Choudhury, assistant professor of computer science; Eric Johnson, the Benjamin Ames Kimball Professor of the Science of Administration and director of the Glassmeyer/McNamee Center for Digital Strategies at the Tuck School of Business; Ann Flood from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice; Tom Candon, associate director of ISTS; and Sarah Brooks, associate director of finance and administration at ISTS.

By SUSAN KNAPP

Last Updated: 1/11/10