The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute is opening up its funding spigot again in its bid to create an interoperable fabric of research networks to support comparative-effectiveness research.
The institute—a not-for-profit organization created and funded by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—is awarding $82.7 million for clinical research networks access to the data of a million or more patients. The institute will pay for $6.25 million in direct costs over three years to 13 networks, adding two recipients to the number of networks that received funding in the first phase. New applicants will have to demonstrate compliance with phase-one requirements. Both new and continuing networks will have to show how they intend to bolster their capabilities to conduct comparative effectiveness research.
The deadline to submit a letter of intent to apply for the funding is Jan. 15, 2015.
Interested applicants will have to demonstrate impressive technical capabilities. The institute is interested in institution's ability to extract unstructured, freeform data from electronic health records and to interpret them digitally through natural language processing. That ability has been the focus of several commercial ventures, including IBM's Watson and clinical-decision-support startups like QPID.
In addition, applicants will have to demonstrate the ability to collaborate with other holders of large datasets; for example, FDA or CMS. Prospective applicants will also have to detail a plan for financial self-sustainability when the funding runs out.
The institute is also offering a total of $26.4 million to “patient-powered research networks,” which are eligible to receive three-year awards of $1.2 million. The networks are groups of patients interested in participating in research concerning a specific condition. The institute will fund 22 applicants, up from 18 in the previous round.
The patient-powered networks will have to partner with clinical data research networks; each clinical data research network is required to partner with two patient-powered network, ensuring a sufficient number of dance partners.
The patient-powered network will have to demonstrate that it will increase the number and diversity of patients involved with the organization and is willing to participate in research.
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