In 2015, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in partnership with Harvard Medical School, announced the launch of Sync for Science (S4S) a national collaboration to accelerate adoption of application programming interfaces (APIs) that provide individuals a simplified, scalable, and secure way to share their electronic health record (EHR) data. S4S provides software tools, implementation support, documentation, and a convening platform to foster consistent, standards-based patient API access across diverse EHR systems. Initially tested to support EHR data sharing with the All of Us Research Program under the Precision Medicine Initiative®, S4S is a significant step towards developing a health system that provides patients with greater control over their EHR data, including aggregation of data across multiple provider sites, and sharing it securely and efficiently with other services, providers and research programs via mobile applications (apps). This effort lends ONC, NIH, participating developers, researchers, providers, and participants insight regarding barriers to implementing and using S4S, which can inform other similar endeavors. While S4S is testing sharing of EHR data for precision medicine research, the standards powering it can be leveraged for other uses. This panel will discuss key lessons learned from the S4S pilot thus far, and opportunities for leveraging S4S and standards-based APIs to support health care and research.

Learning Objective: ● Participants will have a better understanding of NIH’s All of Us Research Program and how Sync for Science can support participant access and sharing of electronic health record (EHR) data for research.
● Participants will learn about the technical specifications and workflow of implementing S4S, using a standards-based application programming interface (API).
● Participants will learn what challenges and barriers may impact the use of a standards-based API, like S4S, for promoting data access and sharing for research.
● Participants will learn about emerging data types that could be leveraged by S4S for access and sharing by researchers.
● Participants will learn how S4S aligns with federal policy initiatives and emerging challenges that could impede the use of similar APIs.


Anita Samarth (Presenter)
Clinovations GovHealth

Kevin Chaney (Presenter)
Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT

Joshua Mandel (Presenter)
Microsoft Healthcare

Spencer SooHoo (Presenter)
Cedars-Sinai Health System

Presentation Materials: