When Cerner and Boston Children's Hospital teamed together to be Champions in PULSE@MassChallenge, Massachusetts' official digital health incubator, our goal was to select a startup that had a vision to tackle serious health care challenges in a way that could seamlessly integrate with the electronic medical record (EMR).

Out of the many of interesting startups that the Cerner and Boston Children's teams evaluated during the PULSE@MassChallenge match-up process, we converged on Herald Health because we believed that their decision support application could improve providers' experience and ability to customize the EMR to meet their specific clinical needs through customized alerts.

Herald Health is developing a system to support providers in managing alerts, by allowing individual providers to easily customize the alerts to match their own practice needs. Herald Health is currently piloting their initial product at the Brigham and Women's and was seeking to partner with other organizations to test their solution.

"At Boston Children's we are seeking opportunities to embed our deep clinical expertise into software that can used at Boston Children's and by clinicians globally to improve clinical and cost outcomes," explained Jean Mixer of the Innovation and Digital Health Accelerator at Boston Children's. "Together with Cerner we are looking to enable apps developed by internal and external innovators – like Herald Health – to be connected into the EMR to allow for seamless clinical use. This meets the clinicians' needs to customize the EMR, the software company's needs to provide a connected customized experience, and supports our mission to share expertise globally to improve health of children and families."

One of the biggest barriers to growth for digital health start-ups is getting connectivity to the EMR. Integration using SMART on FHIR application programming interfaces will help ensure this technology is tightly integrated with the EMR.

Cerner and Boston Children's selected Herald Health, which means that we will support the startup during the six-month accelerator program by providing mentoring and consultation with the aim of defining a pilot in selected areas at Boston Children's.

As it turns out, the Cerner and Boston Children's teams aren't the only ones to recognize the value of Herald Health's proposition. Recently, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced Herald Health as the winner of its national Provider User Experience Challenge, which comes with a $50,000 award.

Brad Diephuis, co-founder of Herald Health said, "We're building a product that fits within the doctors' workflows and delivers real value for patients and health systems alike. We jumped at the chance to work on those goals with a renowned hospital and leading EMR at the same time."

Herald Health is a health IT start-up based out of the Harvard Innovation Lab on a mission to improve patient care through products that help physicians be safer and more efficient.

"We are excited to be working with Herald Health," said Dr. David McCallie, Senior Vice President of Medical Informatics at Cerner. "We are not surprised that they also won the ONC award. We look forward to putting a pilot into place in the near future at Boston Children's to test out their system."