About the IDL


About I Approach I Focus Areas I Partnerships I Partner Benefits I IDL Leadership I Contact Us


The OHSU Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology (DMICE) is establishing an Informatics Discovery Lab (IDL) to address important challenges facing health, healthcare and biomedical research that require informatics innovation as a key component.


Our mission is to provide leadership, discovery, and dissemination of knowledge in clinical informatics, clinical epidemiology, and bioinformatics/computational biology. This mission is fulfilled through programs of research, education, collaboration, and service.

About the IDL

The IDL will be a collaborative environment in which students, teachers and researchers as well as representatives from healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs), industry, and philanthropy, partner to:

  • Foster highly relevant informatics research focused on real-world problems.
  • Uncover commercially viable informatics opportunities.
  • Accelerate informatics innovation and deployment.
  • Give companies and employers greater access to a faculty with both broad and deep informatics expertise and a well-trained informatics workforce pool.
  • Expand the number and variety of informatics practicum and internship opportunities available for students.
  • Make available informatics educational opportunities beyond traditional certificate and degree programs for current professionals, members of industry, and others requiring deeper informatics education and experience.


The IDL includes a team of informatics scientists and staff with a unique combination of training, experience, and skills. Areas of expertise include:

  • Healthcare analytics
  • Workflow redesign
  • Qualitative and quantitative evaluation methodologies
  • Natural language processing, machine learning, and information retrieval
  • Biomedical terminologies, ontologies, and coding
  • Biomedical data structure, representation, and normalization

This depth and breadth in the many areas of informatics allows us to bring a wide-ranging, multidisciplinary methodology to problem solving to bring the right approach to the problem:



Focus Areas

There are a wide variety of problems to be solved in healthcare; however, focus is essential to successfully concentrate effort to solve specific problems. We have selected the following challenge areas not only for their importance, but also for their strong fit with DMICEs unique competencies. Specific projects within these areas will be identified based on our partners needs and interests.

  • Predictive Analytics for Healthcare Process Redesign
  • Usability for EHR Data and Users
  • Population management and Care Coordination Information Systems
  • Mobile Telemedicine
  • Precision Medicine


Click here to read the DMICE-Epic Partnership FAQ

We are building relationships with organizations of all kinds that share our passion for using informatics to address real-world health, healthcare, and biomedical research needs. We are meeting with a wide array of potential partners to explore possible synergies, and identify specific projects that will be of mutual benefit.

Possible commercial partnership models include (but are not limited to):

  • Supporters - Philanthropic donors who help fund lab research activities gain wider access to the labs research, facilities, faculty, and staff. Supporters are eligible for a lab-wide NDA, which allows discussion of lab innovations as a whole, instead of on a per-project basis. Supporters are also eligible to send their employees to the lab for sabbaticals and other learning development experiences.
  • Sponsored Research - This includes specific projects of interest to both the commercial partner and the mission of the lab. These projects are funded by the commercial partner and managed and executed by the lab in collaboration with the partner, based on a project-specific statement of work and deliverables.
  • Fee for Service - Sponsoring organization require DMICE to provide certain services that is strictly generation of data or analysis for a set fee with no ownership of IP by OHSU.
  • Collaborative Development - This model comprises exploratory problem-solving intended to create shared intellectual property.
  • Consulting - Partners may access the expertise and experience of the lab for small, focused advisement, direction, evaluation, and feedback on their projects or areas of interest.
  • Company Start-up - Faculty can contemplate to start companies that can either provide unique resource, services and/ or develop products that have tangible IP to address an unmet need.
  • Product/software development - In partnership with companies jointly develop software and also be a beta testing site.
  • Clinical Trial design -. Outcomes research and patient information analysis partnering with OCTRI/Knight Cancer and Cardiovascular Institutes/ORCATECH.

Benefits to Corporate Partners

  • Oregon and OHSU are national leaders in healthcare reform. OHSU is Oregons largest academic health center, with Oregon and OHSU having the right population size and scope to test and implement new health care ideas and approaches.
  • Access to resources and collaborative faculty expertise from bench to bedside to policy in medicine, nursing, dentistry, and public health informatics. Leverage significant existing investments and dedicated resources focused on biomedical and health informatics research and education at OHSU, including other public and private funding supporting our work.
  • Health simulation environments, analytical models, health management platforms, and domain expertise on deploying marketable technologies for use in the multi-billion dollar health sector.
  • Invaluable community benefit gained by demonstrating the translation of information into meaningful knowledge to cure disease and save lives.
  • Access to health informatics students and post-doctoral fellows.
  • Corporate partner company employees are eligible to use the IDL for sabbaticals and other learning development experiences.
  • Corporate partners are eligible for OHSU Corporate Catalyst Program benefits (donations of $25,000+).

IDL Leadership

DMICE faculty leading the IDL effort include:

William R. Hersh, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.M.I. - Professor and Chair

Aaron M. Cohen, M.D., M.S. - Associate Professor. Director of Commercial Partnerships and Collaboration

David A. Dorr, M.D., M.S. - Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Informatics

Deborah V. Woodcock, M.B.A - IDL Program Manager

Contact Us

To explore opportunities with the IDL, please contact Deborah Woodcock at woodcocd@ohsu.edu or 503-246-3535 or Aaron Cohen at cohenaa@ohsu.edu or 503-494-0046.


Updated Nov 8, 2013