We bring clinicians, data scientists, developers and designers together to build tools and products that transform the way personal, digital data can be used in health care.


Ida Sim

Ida is a co-founder of Open mHealth. She is a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and co-director of Biomedical Informatics for UCSF’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute. She received her MD/PhD from Stanford University.

Deborah Estrin

Deborah is a co-founder of Open mHealth. She is a professor of computer science at Cornell Tech and was the founding director of the NSF-funded Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS). Deborah received her Ph.D. in computer science from M.I.T., and bachelors from UC Berkeley.


David Haddad

David is the Executive Director of Open mHealth. He comes with a breadth of experience in both domestic and global health, working for organizations like the World Bank and UN Foundation. David holds a master’s degree in health economics and policy from the London School of Economics and a bachelors in chemistry and public health from UC Berkeley.

Anna de Paula Hanika

Anna de Paula Hanika leads Product Strategy and Marketing for Open mHealth. Prior to joining the team, she lead product marketing at Google for initiatives ranging from the original Nexus One to the Google Art Project, the Global Impact Awards to Google Ideas. Anna studied neurophysiology & experimental psychology at the University of Oxford.

Katie McCurdy

Katie McCurdy is excited to lead design for Open mHealth. By combining her background as a chronic patient with her passion for UX design and research, she aims to empower patients and improve the experience of stakeholders throughout the healthcare system.

Emerson Farrugia

Emerson Farrugia is Open mHealth’s Chief Software Architect. He has nine years of experience designing and building distributed systems, having helped startups and multinationals create systems that scale. He received his B.S. and M.S. in Computer Science from GMU.

Danny Bonilla

Danny is a lead developer at Open mHealth. He has been developing software for 11 years; starting in Hollywood, CA building web applications for movie studios, and since worked on lead-gen, advertising and across a few startups. He recently moved from Los Angeles, CA to Austin, TX and plays guitar in his spare time.

Simona Carini

Simona Carini is Open mHealth’s Data Scientist. Her background includes nursing, clinical data science and medical information science. She received her B.A. from the University of the Sacred Heart (Milan, Italy) and M.A. from Mills College, CA.

Josh Selsky

Josh was the first developer for Open mHealth. He holds a BS in Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology and is a software developer with 15 years of professional experience working at startups, within academia, and at corporations both large and small.


Gaetano Borriello

Professor of Computer Science, University of Washington

Patty Brennan

Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Eric Horvitz

Managing Director, Microsoft Research

John Mattison

Chief Medical Information Officer, Kaiser Permanente

Jody Ranck

Director of Digital Health, TM Forum


During their service together on a National Academies committee in 2008, Deborah Estrin and Ida Sim realized that mobile health (mHealth) was an up-and-coming technology, and if we could successfully apply lessons learned from other information technologies, the impact on health could be dramatic. In 2010, they co-authored a Policy Paper in Science calling for an open mHealth architecture. In April 2011, Deborah and Ida convened a group of experts from the software and health worlds to strategize about how to actualize such an architecture. In September 2011, Open mHealth was born.


Open mHealth a project of the Tides Center, which is a registered non-profit (501c3). We depend on private donations, foundations, corporate and strategic partnerships to fund everything from staff salaries to basic operations. These investments go to continuing the Open mHealth movement. Open mHealth is proud to be supported by:

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (current)
California Health Care Foundation (2011-12)
Vodafone Americas Foundation (2012)
McKesson Foundation (2012)

Open mHealth believes that innovation comes through open community and collaboration. To learn more about how your organization can contribute to the Open mHealth movement, email partnership@openmhealth.org



Is Open mHealth a non-profit, and why?

Open mHealth is an independent non-profit organization with 501c3 status under the fiscal sponsorship of the Tides Center. We strongly believe in being neutral and promoting all sectors of the mHealth ecoysystem, including both for-profit and non-profit solutions. Our non-profit status allows us the greatest flexibility to pursue our goal of breaking down barriers to mHealth integration.

Isn’t Open mHealth just an academic project that’s forcing people to apply a specific data standard on app makers?

No. We have noticed that in health care, imposed standards are often not adopted. Health care is complex and our needs are ever evolving. But that doesn’t mean we can have a free-for-all either. So Open mHealth’s approach is to provide a way for the mHealth developer community to choose which existing standards to use, if any, and when. Over time, de facto standards will emerge for more parts of mHealth. We will seed this process with some initial data models for basic entities like measurement units, handling of time, geolocation, etc. You can find more details on our approach to data integration here.

How does Open mHealth relate to EHRs / EMRs?

Open mHealth relates to electronic health/medical records as a source of clinical data to be used for mHealth, and EHRs/EMRs as an information system for delivering data and decision support from mHealth back to clinicians. Open mHealth APIs can be used to “read” data from EHRs at the atomic data element level but  typically, EHR data will have to be extracted first using CCD, hDATA, FHIR, or any number of other EHR interchange standards. Integrating mHealth back into EHRs is a difficult problem, and not necessarily needed. Our priority is to integrate mHealth into the clinician workflow, which may or may not be best accomplished through tthe EHR.

Is Open mHealth US-focused or global?

The Open mHealth approach is available and applicable worldwide. Our initial efforts have been US-focused but international partners and projects are greatly welcomed.

Is Open mHealth a clinical Standards Development Organization?

No — Open mHealth defines a syntax for read and write APIs, but does not define or impose any standards for clinical terms or data models. Rather, the Open mHealth API allows data schemas to reference existing terminology standards such as SNOMED, RxNORM, LOINC to describe the clinical meaning of data payloads.

Does Open mHealth have health data that I can access?

No — Open mHealth is a way to build mHealth solutions and a way to exchange mHealth data. We do not collect or store any health data.