Helping patients share EHR data with research

Sync for Science

What is S4S?

S4S is a collaboration among researchers (Harvard Medical School Department of Biomedical Informatics), electronic health record vendors (Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, drchrono, eClinicalWorks, Epic, McKesson), and the United States federal government (Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, National Institutes of Health).

Who benefits from S4S?

Research Participants

An easier way of contributing to scientific progress and sharing medical records with researchers that doesn’t require faxed forms, delays, or in-person visits.


A simple path to receive research participants’ basic clinical data, including essential details like lab results, vital signs, problem lists, medications, and immunizations, potentially increasing participation in studies. Data delivered in a structured format with standard vocabularies may also need less “cleanup” than typical EHR data.


A way to give patients access to the potential benefit from participating in research studies and a reduction in staff time to support data requests, as they flow automatically through our vendor-supplied patient portal.

EHR Vendors

A method to empower their health care provider customers, to facilitate research, to participate in the development of stronger health care systems, and to meet EHR Incentive Program requirements for API-based patient access.

Pilot Program

See also

News, Press, Blogs


Sync for Science and S4S are trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services