Scientific Initiatives

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) conducts projects that leverage the existing health IT investment to support the biomedical and health services research enterprise.  In addition, ONC coordinates related health IT policy and programs with key federal and private sector stakeholders such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Key relevant programs and projects are highlighted below.

National Health IT Priorities for Research: A Policy and Development Agenda

ONC led the development of an Agenda that articulates a vision of a health IT infrastructure that supports alignment between the clinical and research ecosystems. The Agenda outlines nine priorities, including concrete strategies and actions intended to address relevant data, tools, and infrastructure needs over the next 3 to 5 years, enabling researchers to pursue more complex questions and make faster, more reliable discoveries.

Precision Medicine


The Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), launched in 2015, is a nationwide initiative to move away from the “one-size-fits-all” approach to health care delivery and to instead tailor treatment and prevention strategies to people’s unique characteristics, including environment, lifestyle, and biology.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR)


Since 2013, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has led or collaborated on 10 projects that inform policy, standards, and services specific to the adoption and implementation of a PCOR data infrastructure.

Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health Information Technology (Health IT)

The LEAP in Health IT projects address emerging and future challenges to advance the development and use of interoperable and scalable health IT, encouraging a new generation of health IT development and refining and implementing standards, methods, and techniques for overcoming major barriers.

Accelerating Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for Scientific Discovery

To encourage innovation, ONC is leading a variety of activities aimed at accelerating the understanding and use of standardized APIs and third-party mobile applications (apps) to improve healthcare and health research.

Health Information Technology Workflow Automation Policy Development

ONC is leading a project to establish a policy and development agenda around workflow automation through the use of health information technology (health IT).

Advancing Health Data and Metadata Standards

ONC is leading a project to advance high-priority health data and metadata standards that support findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) principles and that can be implemented or required by federal agencies or other relevant stakeholders.

How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Can Transform Health and Healthcare

ONC and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, turned to JASON, an independent group of scientists and academics that has been advising the Federal government on matters of science and technology for over 50 years, to consider how AI might shape the future of public health, community health, and healthcare delivery.

JASON Blog Post

Artificial Intelligence for Health and Health Care [PDF -817 KB]