National Science Foundation LHS Workshop

On April 11-12, 2013, an 11-member committee chaired by Charles Friedman organized a two-day invitational multidisciplinary workshop to identify the fundamental science and engineering research challenges to achieving a national-scale learning health system (LHS). The workshop was shaped by a recognition of the expanse and depth of scientific challenges facing a high-functioning "Version 3.0" of the Learning Health System.

The workshop, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, engaged 45 prominent researchers spanning multiple disciplines. Through a planned format interweaving structured presentations, panel discussions, and small group deliberations, the workshop participants collectively identified four sets of research questions organized around four system-level requirements that a high-functioning LHS must satisfy. 

Slides from the presentations can be downloaded from the agenda below.

Pre-Workshop Briefing Materials

Thursday, April 11 

Introductory Session

Opening Panel and Discussion (plenary session) 

Objective: To establish the LHS concept, the goals of the workshop, the interdisciplinary character of the workshop, and the process to be followed 

Activities Focused on Four Advanced LHS Use Cases 

Objective: To identify the research challenges that must be addressed to realize a very high-functioning LHS capable of executing the requirements expressed as use cases addressing four domains

Process: Participants will work in four pre-assigned, intentionally heterogeneous multi-disciplinary groups. Each group will work on one of the four use cases. Participants will generate the research challenges that must be addressed in order to execute the requirements of their assigned use case. 

  • Use cases in detail
    • Use Case 1: Health care quality (Facilitator: William Stead) 
    • Use Case 2: Public health (Facilitator: Richard Platt)
    • Use Case 3: Personal health (Facilitator: Milton Corn)
    • Use Case 4: Research (Facilitator: Mark Musen) 

Friday, April 12

Session to Focus on the Research Challenges Underlying the “System-Level” Requirements of the LHS

Objective: To identify a set of research challenges complementing those identified on Thursday, by focusing on four broad system-level requirements for the high-functioning LHS.

Process: Participants will be divided into four pre-assigned groups. Each group will be assigned to address one of the broad system-level requirements. In contrast to Thursday’s groups, these groups will be relatively homogenous, to concentrate relevant expertise on each requirement area.

  • Trusted and valued by the public (Facilitator: Carl Gunter)
  • Economically sustainable (Facilitator: Melinda Buntin)
  • Stable, certifiable, adaptable, and self-improving (Facilitator: Douglas Van Houweling)
  • Capable of generating valid knowledge (Facilitator: Jeffrey Brown) 

Panel Discussion to Reflect on the Identified Research Challenges