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Narf Investigates Interoperability and Security of Electronic Health Records

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    Prashant Anantharaman

We are excited to announce that we have been awarded a contract from the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to work on the Digital Health Security (DIGIHEALS1) project titled "Electronic Health Record Format for Interoperable Secure Transformation (EHR-FIST)." We will collaborate with Dartmouth College on this project.

Poor interoperability between differing Electronic Health Record (EHR) management software has been, and continues to be, a problem for patients and their providers. Incorrect data ingestion can affect future patient care and serve as an avenue for cyberattacks.

Building on our previous work on DARPA SafeDocs (where we examined parsing bugs and fixes in the complex real-world formats of PDF and HTTP), our team aims to characterize the most problematic constructs in widely used EHR data formats by discovering and reporting parsing bugs in existing EHR management systems. Narf and Dartmouth College2 will be working on developing new technologies to translate existing EHR records into a safe form that facilitates unambiguous and secure interpretation of health records while maintaining compatibility with existing EHR systems.

Narf's CTO, Dr. Michael Locasto, will lead the EHR-FIST project as the Principal Investigator and will be joined by Dr. Prashant Anantharaman on the research team. The Dartmouth team will include Prof. Sean W. Smith, Adjunct Prof. Emeritus Andrew Gettinger, MD, and PhD candidate (and 2023 Narf intern) Ben Kallus.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and/or findings expressed are those of the author(s) and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of ARPA-H or the U.S. Government.