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Vendor Solicitation

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VENDOR SOLICITATION

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES TO ADAPT

WEB AND MOBILE APPLICATIONS


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Note: This solicitation, published on April 7, 2017, is an update to a solicitation originally published in November, 2016. This update implements changes that seek to open the opportunity up to vendors who offer either a web app or a mobile app, to better align the PPRN EHR-Extraction Project with the anticipated timeline of industry adoption of the HL7 FHIR standard. The primary changes are:

  1. Changing the FHIR-based activity from a “pilot” of FHIR resource extraction through provider-implemented APIs, to a “proof-of-concept” using “sandboxes” for testing.
  2. Extending opportunity to include vendors offering web apps, rather than limiting the pilot to mobile-app vendors only.

1. VENDOR SOLICITATION

PCORnet, as represented by Genetic Alliance, is seeking applications from experienced and qualified firms or individuals to adapt their existing multiplatform web or mobile application to enable a patient to transmit EHR data to a Patient Powered Research Network (PPRN). Web apps should run on most leading browsers, and mobile apps should run on both iOS and Android devices.This solicitation is for a pro bono project. No funding will be provided to the participating vendor(s).

1.1 GENERAL CONTACT INFORMATION

Firms responding to this solicitation shall submit responses electronically or in hardcopy format to the following address:

Genetic Alliance
4301 Connecticut Ave NW, Suite 404
Washington DC, 20008

Attn: Tamara Wurst
Email: twurst@geneticalliance.org

1.2 BACKGROUND

PCORnet, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Network, is an innovative initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). By harnessing the power of large amounts of health data and partnerships with participants in clinical research, PCORnet is designed to make it faster, easier, and less costly to conduct clinical research than is now possible. In the process, it is transforming the culture of clinical research from one directed by researchers to one driven by the needs of people and those who care for them.

Within PCORnet are Patient-Powered Research Networks (PPRN), which comprise of participants/patients and/or caregivers who are motivated to build an ideal network and play an active role in people-centered comparative effectiveness research. The PPRNs have a strong need for clinical data generated by electronic health record (EHR) technology, and their participants have a strong desire to make their data available. However, the PPRNs vary broadly in technical skills and resources available to implement technical solutions for obtaining EHR data.
This vendor solicitation seeks to identify developers who share the PPRNs’ vision and are interested in partnering with the PPRNs to adapt their existing web and mobile applications that have been tested for quality, functionality and security, to enable participants (patients and/or caregivers) to request that their EHR data be sent to one or more PPRNs for use in biomedical research.
The PPRN EHR-extraction project comprises two demonstration studies:
  1. A pilot in which participants will use a “proxy app” to request that their EHR data be transmitted from a patient portal to one or more participant-selected PPRNs.
  2. A proof-of-concept in which participants will test the functionality, usability, and security of a “FHIR-based app” designed to retrieve and forward FHIR resources to one or more participant-selected PPRNs, using the OAuth 2.0 authorization protocol.

Vendors are free to apply for participation in one or both of these studies.

1.3 SERVICES REQUESTED

The period during which the services described herein will commence upon announcement of qualification. Successful applicants will provide services to adapt their existing web and mobile applications to (a) acting on behalf of the participant, login to a patient portal and request that the provider transmit a Consolidated Clinical Data Architecture (C-CDA) document to one or more named PPRNs (“proxy app”); and (b) acting on behalf of a participant, send a service request to the provider’s FHIR Resource server to query for and obtain access to FHIR resources, and redirect those resources to one or more named PPRNs (“FHIR-based app”).
The contractor shall make the final versions of the adapted mobile software application ("app") available to the PPRNs for free download to web clients and/or mobile devices (both iPhone and Android) by June 15, 2017 for Proxy app and TBD for FHIR-based app. For one year from the date of software release, the contractor shall provide an unconditional service warranty that the app software is free of known security vulnerabilities and undocumented features, that any errors discovered after delivery will be addressed and resolved expeditiously, that the software will remain accessible to the PPRN community, and the software meets the design standards. Genetic Alliance will be the steward of the delivered executable code and any keys to external sources used and required to run the application and download the application, until such time as PCORnet becomes an incorporated entity capable of providing such stewardship. A detailed description of requested services is found in Section 2 of this vendor solicitation.

Successful applicants will perform services, and provide software products, without remuneration. Any expenses incurred in the delivery of these services will be the applicant’s responsibility. However, successful applicants and their work will be given broad visibility and attribution within the PCORnet community.

Qualifications of the Contractor (Please provide resumes of professional staff directly involved in development when submitting final application)
The contractor must have experience in web and/or mobile (Android and iOS) application development, Android SDK, iOS, RESTful APIs, Java, C, and C++ or other relevant programming languages. Experience should be documented in personnel resumes. The contractor must have experience with large data sets and with the data formats required for download of certified Electronic Health Records download and transmission (XML, HL7 C-CDA, HL7 FHIR, JSON, and HL7 C-CDA on FHIR Implementation Guide).

The contractor must have proven expertise in developing security-protected web and/or mobile apps, including knowledge of architectural approaches for protecting sensitive data such that the risk of unauthorized exposure and access is minimized. The contractor should demonstrate successful experience implementing apps using security-protected transport and authorization protocols (TLS, FTPS, HTTPS, OAuth 2.0).

Experience working with the PCORnet Common Data Model (CDM) v3.1 or implementing apps in accordance with the HL7 Argonaut Project app authorizition profile are highly desired.

Prior work developing applications for hospitals or non-profit organizations should be highlighted.

1.4 TECHNICAL QUESTIONS

Technical questions regarding this vendor solicitation shall be directed by email or phone no later than April 30, 2017:

Tamara Wurst
Email: twurst@geneticalliance.org

Technical questions must reference this solicitation (Genetic Alliance Vendor Solicitation) and include the individual’s name, company, address, and contact information.

1.5 EVALUATION CRITERIA

Part 1 - Written Application

Each application should indicate whether the vendor is applying to participate in the proxy-app pilot, the FHIR-based-app proof-of-concept, or both.
Vendor's applications will be evaluated on the basis of the overall best value for PCORnet PPRNs based on the quality, service, and other criteria set forth in this document, including but not limited to:

  • The applicant’s demonstrated experience in similar projects;
  • The applicant’s business and technical reputation and capabilities, and, where applicable, the experience of its personnel, financial stability, track record, and references of current and former customers;
  • The articulation of creative solutions regarding project budget and scope;
  • The proposed project resources and the skills, knowledge, and previous experience of the resources;
  • The Proposed plan of approach and work schedule;
  • The proposed methodology for coordination with Genetic Alliance PCORnet Coordinating Center;
  • The quality of submission;
  • Any other criteria set out in the vendor solicitation or otherwise reasonable and considered relevant.
  • Questions in section 2 in BOLD require a response.

Part 2- Invited Interviews
Vendors whose applications meet the needs of PCORnet, as represented by Genetic Alliance, may be invited to present via webinar or in person on a mutually agreed upon date.

1.6 SELECTION PROCESS

  • As applications are received, each will be examined to determine compliance with the format and information requirements specified in the vendor solicitation. Any application that does not meet the format and information requirements may be eliminated from competition and returned to the applicant. Genetic Alliance may reject any application if it is conditional, incomplete, or contains irregularities. Genetic Alliance also reserves the right to reject all applications.
  • A Selection Panel will review each application that meets the format and information requirements.
  • Following independent evaluation of the application, the applicant may be requested to participate in an interview to clarify questions and to assure that both parties understanding the conditions of the agreement; however, Genetic Alliance reserves the right to make a decision based solely on the written application.
  • Genetic Alliance reserves the right to select none, one, or any number of eligible applications that are submitted within the solicitation timeframe. The selected firms will be notified by email of the results.

1.7 ADDENDUMS

Addendums to this solicitation will be released by Genetic Alliance to applicants. Genetic Alliance reserves the right to change this solicitation and will notify current applicants of any changes via email.

1.8 IMPORTANT DATES

Questions Close: April 30, 2017
Completed Application Due: Rolling Basis; application to remain open through May 2017.

1.9 SUBMISSION PROCESS

All Application Packets are required to be received by Genetic Alliance and can be delivered:
Genetic Alliance
4301 Connecticut Ave Suite 404
Washington DC, 20008
Attn: Tamara Wurst
A completed Application Packet will include the following:
1. Letter of interest/Executive Summary
2. Application
3. Resumes of Key Personnel

2. REQUESTED SERVICES/FUNCTIONS

The following section provides a description of services requested in association with the development of the  vendor application. A conceptual depiction of the app within the context of the EHR-to-PPRN data flow is provided for the benefit of the applicant. However, the scope of the project outlined within this solicitation may change.
 
2.1 CONCEPTUAL VIEW

Below are conceptual diagrams of the use cases for the proxy-app pilot and for the FHIR-based app proof-of-concept.


2.2 APPLICATION LAUNCH PAGE

  • Describe user experience upon opening the app, including login request
  • Provide marketing or design support if available

2.3 APPLICATION SERVICES REQUESTED

Genetic Alliance is requesting a developer to provide the following services:
  1. Participation in vendor orientation sessions to be provided by Genetic Alliance following vendor selection.
  2. Participation in App Developers Interest Group, including conference calls and online discussions.
  3. Design and development of a web or mobile app with the capabilities described below, within the scheduled timeline and allocated budget.
  4. Support specification of API and Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) requirements for PPRN data recipients, for both proxy-app pilot and FHIR-based proof-of-concept.
  5. Participation in end-to-end testing with PPRNs and Project Team; inputs to and review of test report.
  6. PPRN technical support during piloting and proof-of-concept periods, as required.
  7. Inputs to and review of proxy-based and FHIR-based implementations guides.
  8. Inputs to and review of final project report.

2.4 DESIRED CAPABILITY - USER SELECTION OF PPRN END POINTS

Genetic Alliance is requesting an app that will enable a user to identify by name and URL one or more PPRN APIs to which the user wishes her data to be sent, and that will enable a user to identify the participant account to which the data should be directed. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.

2.5 DESIRED CAPABILITY - PROXY APP

Genetic Alliance is requesting an app that will enable a PPRN research participant to request that her provider’s patient portal electronically transmit a copy of her electronic health record (EHR), as a structured C-CDA document, to one or more participant-selected recipients. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.

2.5.1 DESIRED CAPABILITY - PROXY SECURITY

Genetic Alliance is requesting a web and/or mobile app that can act as a proxy for a patient authorized to use a portal, while minimizing the risk that patient’s identity and credentials will be compromised from the mobile platform or from transmission links. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.

2.5.2 DESIRED CAPABILITY - USER-SELECTION OF PORTALS
Genetic Alliance is requesting an app that will enable a user to identify by name and URL the patient portal from which the user’s EHR data may be retrieved. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.

2.5.3 DESIRED CAPABILITY - FUNCTION DISCOVERY
Genetic Alliance is requesting an app that will be able to discover the functions that enable download and transmission of a C-CDA document from a provider’s patient portal. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.
 
2.6 DESIRED CAPABILITY - FHIR APP

Genetic Alliance is requesting a web or mobile app that will enable a PPRN research participant to query and retrieve from her provider’s FHIR server the FHIR resources identitifed in the C-CDA on FHIR Implementation Guide, and transmit the resources to one or more user-selected PPRN recipients. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.

2.6.1 DESIRED CAPABILITY - USER SELECTION OF FHIR SERVERS

Genetic Alliance is requesting an app that will enable a user to identify by name and URL the FHIR server from which the user’s EHR data may be retrieved as FHIR resources. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.

2.6.2 DESIRED CAPABILITY - ARGONAUT PROFILES

Genetic Alliance is requesting an app that is capable of querying for and retrieving C-CDA on FHIR resources from a FHIR Server as defined in the Argonaut Project’s use case 1 [http://argonautwiki.hl7.org/images/4/4c/Argonaut_UseCasesV1.pdf]. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.

2.7 DESIRED CAPABILITY - SECURITY

Genetic Alliance is requesting that the Proxy or FHIR-based app be designed such that sensitive information is security protected while cached on the client device, and in transmission between the app and a Trusted Server; between the app and any provider’s FHIR server; and between the app and any selected PPRN. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.
2.7.1 DESIRED CAPABILITY - APP AUTHENTICATION

Genetic Alliance is requesting that the FHIR app be capable of protecting an authentication credential, and authenticating its own identity to a FHIR authorization server with which the app is registered.

For mobile apps, this functionality may require the use of an external Trusted Server. In such case, the app should be designed such that the app can provide to that Trusted Server a level of assurance of the app’s own identity, while minimizing the risk that authentication credentials will be compromised from the mobile platform or from transmission links. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing app authentication, and the level of assurance your approach will provide [Ref NIST SP 800-63-2, http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-63-2.pdf]

2.8 DESIRED CAPABILITY - PERIODIC RETRIEVAL AND TRANSMISSION

Genetic Alliance is requesting an app that will enable a PPRN research participant to request that her EHR data or FHIR resources be periodically retrieved from a provider portal or FHIR server and transmitted to one or more selected PPRNs. Ideally, the participant would be able to request that individual data elements be periodically retrieved and updated. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.

2.9 DESIRED CAPABILITY - EXTENDED DATA SET

Genetic Alliance is requesting an app that can discover whether a patient portal or FHIR server provides the capability to discover and retrieve (as C-CDA document or FHIR resources) clinical data elements beyond those included in the Common Clinical Data Set. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.

2.10 DESIRED CAPABILITY - DATA EXTRACTION FROM MOBILE DEVICES

Genetic Alliance is requesting an app that is capable of querying for and extracting data from mobile health apps in accordance with the Open mHealth standard for data sharing [http://www.openmhealth.org/documentation/#/share-data/sharing-overview/]. Please describe your firm’s approach to implementing such a capability.

3. IT QUESTIONS
Please utilize this space to ask any specific IT requirements of Genetic Alliance IT staff, be it integration, current software or enterprise wide solutions.


4. PLEASE PROVIDE CONTACT INFORMATION TO SERVE AS A REFERENCE
Please provide contact information for a previous client to serve as a reference.

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