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HHS announces new funding opportunities for AI, behavioral health projects

by News7

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is offering new money for innovations around AI data quality and technology adoption for behavioral health.


In a new special emphasis notice under its ongoing Leading Edge Acceleration Projects in Health IT initiative, ONC says it’s offering funding for fiscal year 2024, seeking applications related to two distinct priorities for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Develop innovative ways to evaluate and improve the quality of healthcare data used by artificial intelligence tools in healthcare. This area of interest is focused on the development of scalable solutions to evaluate and improve the quality of healthcare data available in electronic health record technologies used by AI tools.

Accelerate adoption of health IT in behavioral health. This area of interest is focused on designing, developing and piloting lightweight health IT solutions that can enhance health IT capabilities in behavioral health settings and improve care coordination between behavioral health and clinical healthcare settings.

Earlier this year, ONC published the HTI-1 final rule, which establishes transparency requirements for AI and other predictive algorithms incorporated into certified health IT products.

Meanwhile, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has also recently launched its Behavioral Health Information Technology Initiative, which aims to invest more than $20 million of SAMHSA money to advance health IT in behavioral healthcare settings.

The new LEAP in Health IT funding is meant to support both those goals, according to ONC, which says it expects to issue one cooperative agreement award of up to $1 million for each area of interest.

Applicants are encouraged to review NAP-AX-22-001 at to learn more.


ONC first launched the LEAP in Health IT project several years ago to help drive innovation across many imperatives.

The goal is to “address well-documented and fast-emerging challenges to the development, use, or advancement of well-designed, interoperable, and scalable health IT,” according to ONC.

The agency says it’s most interested in new approaches that can “further a new generation of health IT tools and inform the development, implementation, and refinement of health IT standards, methods, and techniques towards enabling widespread adoption of health IT tools to improve health outcomes.”

Many of the awardees have been focused on interoperability, with projects around health information exchange innovations including advanced FHIR applications and USCDI data improvements.


“These two areas of interest are a natural extension of ONC’s work,” said Steve Posnack, deputy national coordinator for health information technology. “We look forward to receiving innovative applications and seeing the impacts generated by selected awardees.”

Mike Miliard is executive editor of Healthcare IT News

Email the writer: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.

Source : Healthcare IT News

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