The University of Michigan was recently awarded a $3.9 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to disseminate its Electronic Medical Records Search Engine (EMERSE) tool to other research institutes. The five-year grant is part of the NCI’s Informatics Technology for Cancer Research program.
EMERSE is a secure, user-friendly tool that allows users to search the “free text” portion of electronic medical records, providing easy access to data that has traditionally been untapped. EMERSE was initially developed in 2005 by David Hanauer, MD, MS, who is the faculty lead for Research Informatics at the Michigan Institute of Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) and has an appointment in the Cancer Center’s clinical informatics group as well as in the Department of Pediatrics.
MICHR is part of the Clinical & Translational Science Awards, a consortium of more than 50 academic research institutions across the U.S. This new grant will allow the U-M team to develop new EMERSE features and to work with five other academic medical centers to disseminate the research tool. The collaborating sites include Columbia University, University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina, University of Cincinnati, and Case Western Reserve University. The University of North Carolina has already begun an initial pilot of EMERSE for their research community, with more sites to follow.