Home > Recent Projects > HealthDesign

Project HealthDesign: Web-Services Components
for Personal Health Records

Project HealthDesign is a research initiative to design and test novel personal health applications and enabling software technologies. Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California HealthCare Foundation, the project has funded nine research institutes to conceive software applications that can help patients better manage their health and/or their medical conditions between encounters with the health care system.

The project has engaged Sujansky & Associates to investigate, design, and prototype a set of common platform components that complement the end-user applications developed by the nine grantees. The envisioned components are software modules that provide common functions, such as clinical data management and access control, via web services or native APIs. The ready availability of such modules can accelerate the development of personal health applications and facilitate the sharing of patient data among multiple applications.

Sujansky & Associates' role in this project included:

  • Eliciting and analyzing the functional requirements for common platform components from the nine participating research projects

  • Developing detailed technical specifications for the common platform components based on web-services standards (WSDL, XML, and SOAP)

  • Building prototype implementations of the common platform components as web services suitable for testing and use by the participating projects

  • Providing technical support to the participating projects in integrating their personal health applications with the common platform components

Relevant documents:

Platform Components - Overview
Platform Components - Functional Requirements (PDF)
Existing Platforms and Standards - Comparative Analysis (PDF)
Web Services Framework (PDF)
Web Services Architecture (JPG)
Web Services Interface Specifications (PDF)



The personal health applications under development address a variety of conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer, chronic musculoskeletal pain, cystic fibrosis, and obesity

The defined components provide services for medication management, observation recording, calendar management, and access control

The web-service interfaces define over fifty operations for storing, retrieving, and updating personal health data

The use of industry-standard WSDL, XML, and SOAP for defining component interfaces achieves platform independence and interoperability across programming languages, operating systems, and networks.