What We Fund

By making health information available electronically when and where it is needed, digital healthcare can improve the quality of care, even as it makes healthcare more cost-effective.

Digital healthcare knowledge and tools can enhance the efforts of patients, clinicians, and health systems working to improve healthcare quality and safety. The AHRQ Digital Healthcare Research Program funds research to create actionable findings on "what and how digital healthcare works best" for these healthcare stakeholders. Through this research, AHRQ generates the groundbreaking knowledge, tools, and data needed to improve health system performance and health outcomes. These products and tools are used by patients, healthcare professionals, and policymakers to make informed decisions based on the most current evidence available. AHRQ's digital healthcare initiative is part of the Nation's strategy for putting quality information technology (IT) to work in healthcare. By making targeted health information available electronically when and where it is needed, digital healthcare can improve the quality of care at the same time it makes healthcare more cost-effective.

In 2020, the AHRQ Digital Healthcare Research Program proudly:

  • Supported 103 research grants and eight contracts
  • Managed a $144.5 million investment
  • Issued funding in 26 States and the District of Columbia to over 61 distinct institutions

In 2020, the AHRQ Digital Healthcare Research Program continued to fund research in response to over 20 past and present funding opportunities.

The AHRQ Digital Healthcare Research Program’s funding opportunities are designed to fund research that fills knowledge gaps and leads to improvements in the design of digital healthcare systems. The program accomplishes this through grant and contract mechanisms that support different types of health services research, including:

  • Exploratory and developmental research grants that support research in the early and conceptual stages of development
  • Pilot and feasibility studies
  • Randomized controlled trials and other studies of technology effectiveness
  • Secondary analyses of existing data
  • Dissemination work that scales evidence-based research more broadly

In addition, AHRQ funds promising new investigators through awards intended to foster their career development in digital healthcare research.

In 2020, AHRQ-funded digital healthcare researchers:

  • Published over 100 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.
  • Presented their research at numerous digital healthcare, health services research, medical, and other relevant conferences.