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Kensaku Kawamoto

Title: Professor
College: Medicine
School / Department: Biomedical Informatics
Mentoring Philosophy:

Dr. Kensaku Kawamoto is Associate Chief Medical Information Officer of University of Utah Health. He is also Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical Informatics in the University of Utah Department of Biomedical Informatics. He is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics and a Fellow of the American Medical Informatics Association. Dr. Kawamoto was recognized as a Top 25 Innovator in health care in 2019 by Modern Healthcare.

Dr. Kawamoto earned his B.A. in biochemical sciences from Harvard University, and he earned his M.D., Ph.D. in biomedical engineering with a focus on biomedical informatics, and M.H.S. in clinical research from Duke University. At the University of Utah, Dr. Kawamoto chairs the Clinical Decision Support committee and is a co-solution architect of the enterprise Value Driven Outcomes (VDO) framework for analyzing and improving care value. Dr. Kawamoto directs the University’s ReImagine EHR initiative, which is a multi-stakeholder enterprise initiative for improving health and health care through interoperable electronic health record (EHR) innovations ( The ReImagine EHR initiative has developed a number of award-winning EHR add-on apps, including a neonatal bilirubin management app that won the 2019 American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)/Health Level Seven International (HL7) FHIR Applications Showcase, a lung cancer screening shared decision making app that was a finalist in the 2020 AMIA/HL7 Showcase, and a Disease Manager application that won the 2021 AMIA/HL7 Showcase. The initiative has also helped to bring in over $35 million in external grants and contracts.

Beyond the University of Utah, Dr. Kawamoto is a member of the U.S. Health IT Advisory Committee (HITAC), which provides guidance to the U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT on policies, standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria related to health information technology. In this capacity, he also co-chaired the federal Interoperability Standards Priorities Task Force, whose charge is to recommend priority uses of health IT and the associated standards and implementation specifications.
Dr. Kawamoto co-chairs the Clinical Decision Support Work Group of HL7, the primary standards development organization in health IT. He is also a past board member of HL7 and served as Initiative Coordinator for the U.S. Health eDecisions and Clinical Quality Framework initiatives for developing and validating interoperability standards for clinical decision support and clinical quality measurement. Dr. Kawamoto founded and directs OpenCDS (, which is a multi-institutional initiative to enable advanced, standards-based, and open-source clinical decision support at scale.

Dr. Kawamoto is a member of the Huntsman Cancer Institute Cancer Control and Population Science Program, and he is engaged in a number of projects aimed at cancer prevention. Dr. Kawamoto is the PI or co-PI on a number of grants sponsored by the federal government and industry, including from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Hitachi Ltd. Dr. Kawamoto is also the author or co-author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings and 10 book chapters.

“I believe one of the greatest challenges facing our nation is how to provide high-quality health care at a cost affordable by society. It is truly gratifying to work with talented colleagues from across the University and beyond to address this grand challenge of our times, with clinical informatics serving as a core enabler for the types of fundamental changes required to realize the vision of high-quality, high-value health care.”