Friedman Robert, MD
Chief, Medical Information System Unit. Professor of Medicine and Public Health
Office: 720 Harrison Ave, Suite 1102

Phone: 617-638-7580


Robert H. Friedman, M.D. is Professor of Medicine and Public Health at Boston University and Chief of the Medical Information Systems Unit at the Institution. He has more than 30 years experience in medical informatics, beginning with work at the National Institutes of Health in 1970-1972, and in a fellowship in Medical Informatics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in 1972-1994. Dr. Friedman has received 31 externally funded research grants including 17 NIH grants, of which ten are currently active. Over the past two decades, his research has concentrated on the development and evaluation of information systems for delivering healthcare to people in their homes and in offices (so-called “virtual visits”) that supplement the care they receive by face to face encounters with health professionals. These systems screen patients for important health conditions, monitor patients with chronic disease, and modify important health behaviors. Evaluation of these systems have demonstrated clinical efficacy and both patient and provider acceptance and satisfaction. Current work focuses on the further development of enabling technologies and their application to such health conditions as hypertension, chronic lung disease, and childhood asthma, and for patients with multiple chronic diseases, and for targeting such important health behaviors as medication-taking, exercise, diet, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.

Dr. Friedman is also actively involved in education, particularly in research methodology and medical informatics. He is the director of a combined Family Medicine/General Internal Medicine research training program at Boston University that matriculates 10 or more post doctoral fellows per year into a 2-3 year full time research-oriented program. This program has placed more than 80 current research-oriented medical school faculty in the United States and Canada over the past 20 years. Dr. Friedman is also the director of a post doctoral Medical Informatics Fellowship Program at Boston University that matriculates one new trainee per year in a 2 year program designed to train research-oriented medical informatics professionals. He also will be beginning a new Masters Degree Program in Medical Informatics in the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences in Boston University in 2006. He is currently the PI on 3 federal research training grants that support these fellowship training programs. In these programs as well as outside of them, he has a personal role in mentoring trainees in research including bioethics and public health.

Recent Publications

1. Friedman RH, Entine SM, Murray CM, Holladay D, Steinhard EC. An integrated clinical protocol management system. Third Annual Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care, Washington, DC, October, 1979.

2. Barnhart W, Fink D, Friedman R, Yarnall S, Page OC, Simmons RL eds. Patient records: a guide for your practice. Washington, DC: Am. Soc. of Int. Med; 1980.

3. Friedman RH, Horwitz J, Concannon T, Krikorian J, Lopez JA. Decision making support for patient care and clinical research within a cancer information system. Proceedings of Third Annual World Association of Medical Informatics. Versailles. May, 1980.

4. Horwitz J, Concannon T, Friedman R, Krikorian JG. An information system for clinical management in oncology. Proceedings of 1980 MUMPS Users' Group Meeting. San Diego, CA. May, 1980:1-12.

5. Friedman RH, Horwitz JH, Concannon TC, Krikorian JG. An information system for clinical research: the cancer data management system. Proceedings of MEDINFO 80. Tokyo. October, 1980:876-880.

6. Friedman RH, Horwitz JH, Krikorian JG. Issues in automation of cancer treatment protocols. Proceedings of Fourth Annual Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care. Washington, DC. November, 1980:200-205.

7. Horwitz JH, Thompson H, Concannon TC, Friedman RH, Krikorian JG, Gertman PM, Kreger BE, Lopez J, Bedford JE. Computer-assisted patient care management in medical oncology. Proceedings of Fourth Annual Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care. Washington, DC. November, 1980:771-778.

8. Conrad L, Bloom S, Cooper C, Concannon T, Friedman RH, Horwitz JH, Krikorian JG, Lopez J. The cancer data management system statistics package. Proceedings of Fourth Annual Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care. Washington, DC. November, 1980:1281-1285.

9. Cooper CM, Conrad LE, Bloom SM, Olshen R, Horwitz J, Friedman RH, Krikorian J, Lopez J. GENESIS: A general statistical information system. Proceedings of 1980 MUMPS Users' Group Meeting, 1980:186-197.

10. Friedman RH, Frank AD. Automation of formal rules for clinical decision-making support imbedded in an information system. Proceedings of Fifth Annual Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care. Washington, DC. November, 1981:258-262.

11. Friedman RH, Pozen JT, Rosencrans AL, Eisenberg JM, Gertman PM. General internal medicine units in academic medical centers: their emergence and functions. Ann Int Med 1982; 96:233-238.

12. Friedman RH, Frank AD, Trapilo TC, Bedford JE. The clinical trials computer system (CTCS): a system to improve clinical trial compliance and efficiency. Third Annual Meeting of the Society for Clinical Trials. Pittsburgh, PA, May, 1982.

13. Friedman RH, Frank AD. Use of conditional rule structure to automate clinical decision support: a comparison of artificial intelligence and deterministic programming techniques. Computers and Biomedical Research 1983; 16:378-394.

14. Forman JS, Friedman RH. Chapter 1, Some General Considerations, Section 1, Periodic Health Screening, pp.3-5 in Medicine: Essentials of Clinical Practice. Wilkins RW, Levinsky NG eds. Little Brown and Company, Boston, Third Edition, 1983.

15. Friedman RH, Bedford JE. The Cancer Data Management System (CDMS): A Transferable Information System to Support Oncology Clinical Trials, pp. 51-60 in Workshop on the Role of Computers in Cancer Clinical Trials, Edwards BK (ed), USDHHS, NIH Publication No. 84-2627, Washington, DC, 1983.

16. Trapilo TC, Friedman RH. The impact of technology on clinical trials: the clinical trials computer system. Psycho-pharmacology Bulletin 1984; 20:59-63.

17. Alpert EJ, Shapiro BK, Meenan RF, Gertman PM, Friedman RH. Computers in rheumatology practice: implications for clinical research. J Rheumatology 1984; 11:697-699.

18. Lyon J, Malbon A, Henderson MG, Friedman RH. A comparison of hospital outpatient departments and private practices. Health Care Financing Review 1985; 6:69-81.

19. Friedman RH, Pozen JT. The academic viability of general internal medicine: the views of department of medicine chairmen. Ann Int Med 1985; 103:439-444.

20. Friedman RH. The use of computers in patient management, in Advances in Internal Medicine Vol. 31, pp. 71-93, Stollerman GH. (ed), Year Book Medical Publishers, Inc., Chicago, 1986.

21. Friedman RH. Growing up: the status of academic general internal medicine. J Gen Int Med 1986; 1:134-136.

22. Friedman RH. Family practice and general internal medicine: what kind of cooperation makes sense? JAMA 1986; 255:2644-2646.

23. Kazis LE, Friedman RH. Improving medication compliance in the elderly: strategies for the health care provider. J Am Ger Soc 1988; 36(12):1161-1162.

24. Smith MB, Burke KE, Torgerson JS, Stollerman JE, Kern DC, Hardy WL, Friedman RH. Logical and efficient conversations between patients and the telephone-linked computer system. In: Greenes RA. Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual Symposium on Computer Applications in Medical Care. Washington, DC. November, 1988:463-467.

25. Fihn SD, Larson EB, Moskowitz MA, Friedman RH. Ambulatory care research in the VA: present status and recommendations for the future. Acad Med 1989; 64(suppl):535-543.

26. Noble J, Friedman R, Starfield B, Ash A, Black C, Neuwirth R. The impact of primary care training on the career choice board certification and practice location of internists and pediatricians. Ann Int Med 1992; 116(6):482-487.

27. Carr P, Friedman RH, Moskowitz MA, Kazis LE, Weed HG. Research, academic rank and compensation of female and male faculty in academic general internal medicine. J Gen Int Med 1992; 7:418-423.

28. Markson LJ, Friedman RH, Jette AM, Kazis LE. Computers as clinician extenders: monitoring chronic illness in elderly patients. Int J Tech Aging 1992; 5(2):153-165.

29. Robinson KM, Friedman RH, Moskowitz MA, Steel RK, Kazis LE. Geriatrics training in physical medicine and rehabilitation. Am J Phys Med Rehab 1993; 72:67-74.

30. Carr P, Noble J, Friedman RH, Starfield B, Black C. Choices of training programs and career paths by women in internal medicine. Academic Medicine 1993; 68(3):219-223.

31. Carr PL, Friedman RH, Moskowitz MA, Kazis LE. Comparing the status of women and men in academic medicine. Ann Int Med 1993; 119(9):908-913.

32. Friedman RH, Alpert JJ, Green LA. Strengthening academic generalist departments and divisions. J Gen Int Med 1994; 9(S1):S90-S98.

33. Alpert JJ, Friedman RH, Green LA. Education of generalists: three times a century is all we get! J Gen Int Med 1994; 9(S1):S4-S6.

34. Friedman RH, Kazis LE, Jette A, Smith MB, Stollerman J, Torgerson J, Carey KB. A telecommunications system for monitoring and counseling patients with hypertension: impact on medication adherence and blood pressure control. Am J Hypertension 1996; 9:285-292.

35. Collins MF, Friedman RH, Ash A, Hall R, Moskowitz MA. Underdetection of clinical benign prostatic hyperplasia in a general medical practice. J Gen Int Med 1996; 11:513-518.

36. Jarvis KL, Friedman RH, Heeren T, Cullinane PM. Older women and physical activity: using the telephone to walk. Women's Health Issues 1997; 7:24-29.

37. Berlowitz DR, Ash AS, Friedman R, Hickey EC, Kader B, Moskowitz MA. Outcomes of hypertension care: simple measures are not that simple. Medical Care 1997; 35(7):742-746.

38. Friedman RH, Stollerman JE, Mahoney DM, Rozenblyum L. The virtual visit: using telecommunications technology to take care of patients. JAMIA 1997; 4:413-425.

39. Barnett RC, Carr P, Boisnier AD, Ash A, Friedman RH, Moskowitz MA, Szalacha L. Relationships of gender and career motivation to medical faculty members’ production of academic publications. Acad Med 1998; 73:180-186.

40. Berlowitz DR, Ash A, Friedman R, Hickey EC, Kader B, Moskowitz MA. Problems in assessing diabetes control in an ambulatory setting. Am J Med Qual 1998; 13: 89-93.

41. Friedman RH. Automated telephone conversations to assess health behavior and deliver behavioral interventions. J Med Systems 1998; 22:95-102.

42. Palepu A, Friedman RH, Barnett RC, Carr P, Ash A, Szalacha L, Moskowitz M. Junior faculty members’ mentoring relationships and their professional development in U.S. medical schools. Acad Med 1998; 73:318-323.

43. Berlowitz D, Ash A, Hickey E, Kader B, Friedman R, Moskowitz M. Profiling outcomes of ambulatory care: case-mix affects perceived performance. Medical Care 1998; 36:928-933.

44. Carr PL, Felsenstein D, Friedman RH. Evaluation and management of vaginitis. J Gen Intern Med 1998; 13:335-346.

45. Palepu A, Carr PL, Friedman RH, Amos H, Ash AS, Moskowitz M. Minority faculty and academic rank in medicine. JAMA 1998; 280:767-771.

46. Carr PL, Ash AS, Friedman RH, Scaramucci A, Barnett RC, Szalacha L, Palepu A, Moskowitz MA. The relationship of family responsibilities and gender to the productivity and career satisfaction of medical faculty. Ann Int Med 1998; 129:532-538.

47. Berlowitz DR, Ash AS, Hickey EC, Friedman RH, Glickman M, Kader B, Moskowitz MA. Inadequate management of blood pressure in a hypertensive population. N Engl J Med 1998; 339(27):1957.

48. Friedman RH, Stollerman J, Rozenblyum L, Belfer AS, Mahoney D, Steinbach S. A telecommunications system to manage patients with chronic disease. MEDINFO, IMIA 1998; 1330-1334.

49. Ramelson HR, Friedman RH, Ockene JK. An automated telephone-based smoking cessation education and counseling system. Patient Educ Counseling 1999; 36(2):131-144.

50. Carr PL, Friedman RH. Gender diversity- struggle in the glass house. Mayo Clin Proc 1999; 74(2):201-203.

51. Mahoney D, Tennstedt S, Friedman R, Heeren T. An automated telephone system for monitoring the functional status of community-residing elders. Gerontologist 1999; 39: 229-234.

52. Kaplan B, Farzanfar R, Friedman RH. Research and ethical issues arising from ethnographic interviews of patients’ reactions to an intelligent interactive telephone health behavior advisor system. In: IFIP Transactions, Ngwenyama O, Introna L, Myers M, and DeGross JI eds. London: Chapman & Hall, 1999.

53. Palepu A, Carr PL, Friedman RH, Ash A, Moskowitz MM. Specialty choices, compensation, and career satisfaction of underrepresented minority faculty in academic medicine. Acad Med 2000; 75 (2):157-160.
54. Finkelstein J, Friedman RH. Telecommunication offers solution to chronic pulmonary disease management. Advance Managers Respiratory Care 2000; 9(5): 12-14.

55. Finkelstein J, Friedman RH. Home Asthma Telemonitoring (HAT) system. Proc. of the IEEE 26th Annual Northeast Bioengineering Conference. Storrs, CT 2000; 103-104.

56. Nelson HD, Cooney TG, Kroenke K, Friedman RH. Teaching contributions of general internists-a national survey. J Gen Int Med 2000; 15(5): 277-283.

57. Carr PL, Ash AS, Friedman RH, Szalacha L, Barnett RC, Palepu A, Moskowitz MM. Discrimination and harassment in academic medicine. Acad Med 2000; 132: 889-896.

58. Finkelstein J, Friedman RH. The potential role of telecommunications technologies in the management of chronic health conditions. Disease Management & Health Outcomes 2000; 8(2):57-63.

59. Gillman MW, Pinto BM, Tennstedt S, Glanz K, Marcus B, Friedman R. Relationships of physical activity with dietary behaviors in adults. Am J Preventive Medicine 2001; 32(3): 295-301.

60. Taylor JS, Friedman RH, Speckman JL, Ash AS, Moskowitz MA, Carr PL. Fellowship training and career outcomes for academic primary care physicians. Acad Med 2001; 76:366-372.

61. Delichatsios HK, Friedman RH, Glanz K, Tennstedt S, Smigelski C, Pinto BM, Kelley H, Gillman MW. Randomized trial of a "talking computer" to improve adults' eating habits. Amer J Health Promotion 2001; 15(4): 215-224.

62. Young M, Sparrow D, Gottlieb D, Selim A, Friedman R. A telephone linked computer system for COPD care. Chest 2001; 119:1565-1575.

63. Mooney KH, Beck SL, Friedman RH, Farzanfar R. Telephone- linked care for cancer symptom monitoring. Cancer Practice 2002; 10(3): 147-154.

64. Pinto BM, Friedman RH, Marcus BH, Kelley H, Tennstedt S, Gillman MW. Effects of a computer-based telephone counseling system on physical activity. Am J Preventive Medicine 2002, 23:113-120.

65. King AC, Friedman R, Marcus B, Castro C, Forsyth L, Napolitano M, Pinto B. Harnessing motivational forces in the promotion of physical activity: The Community Health Advice by Telephone (CHAT) Project. Health Education Research 2002; 17(5): 627-636.

66. Glanz K, Shigaki D, Farzanfar R, Pinto B, Kaplan B, Friedman RH. Participant reactions to a computerized telephone system for nutrition and exercise counseling. Patient Education and Counseling 2003; 49(2): 157-163.

67. Berlowitz DR, Ash AS, Hickey EC, Glickman M, Friedman R, Kader B. Hypertension management in patients with diabetes: the need for more aggressive therapy. Diabetes Care 2003; 26: 355-259.

68. Kaplan B, Farzanfar R, Friedman RH. Personal relationships with an intelligent interactive telephone health behavior advisor system: A multimethod study using surveys and ethnographic interviews. International Journal of Medical Informatics 2003; 71(1): 33-41.

69. Ramelson H, Bassey B, Friedman RH. The use of computer telephony to provide interactive health information. American Medical Informatics Association 2003, Proceedings of the American Medical Informatics Association; 539-543.

70. Adams WG, Fuhlbrigge AL, Miller CW, Panek CG, Ji Y, Loane KC, Madden NE, Plunkett AM, Friedman RH. TLC-Asthma: an integrated information system for patient-centered monitoring, case management, and point-of-care decision support. American Medical Informatics Association 2003, Proceedings of the American Medical Informatics Association; 1-5.

71. Peterson NB, Friedman RH, Ash AS, Franco S, Carr PL. Faculty self-reported experience with racial and ethnic discrimination in academic medicine. J Gen Intern Med 2004; 19: 259-265.

72. Farzanfar F, Finkelstein J, Friedman RH. Testing the usability of two automated home-based patient-management systems. Journal of Medical Systems 2004; 28(2): 143-153.

73. Weedn VW, McDonald MD, Locke SE, Schreiber M, Friedman RH, Newell RG, Temoshok LR. Managing the community response to bioterrorist threats. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology 2004; 23(1): 162-170.

74. Ash AS, Carr PL, Goldstein R, Friedman RH. Compensation and advancement of women in academic medicine: is there equity? Ann Int Med 2004; 141:205-212.

75. DeMolles DA, Sparrow D, Gottlieb DJ, Friedman R. A pilot trial of a telecommunications system in sleep apnea management. Medical Care 2004; 42(8):764-769.

76. Farzanfar R, Migneault J, Rubin A, Friedman R, Marks L. Computer-based and live interviews on problem drinking: users’ attitudes. Proceedings of MEDINFO 2004 (M. Fieschi, et al. [eds.]), Amsterdam: 10S, 956-959.

77. Friedman RH, Wahi-Gururaj S, Alpert J, Bauchner H, Culpepper L, Heeren T, Singer A. The views of U.S. medical school deans towards academic primary care. Academic Medicine 2004; 79(11):1095-1102.

78. Velicer WF, Keller S, Friedman RH, Fava JL, Gulliver SB, Ward, RM, Ramelson H. Prochaska JO, Cottrill SD. Comparing participants and non-participants recruited for an effectiveness study of nicotine replacement therapy. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 2005; 29 (3): 181-191.

79. Farzanfar R, Frishkopf S, Migneault J, Friedman R. Telephone-linked care for physical activity (TLC-PA): a qualitative evaluation of the use patterns of an information technology program for patients. J of Biomedical Informatics 2005; 38: 220-228.

80. Carr PL, Rothberg MB, Friedman RH, Felsenstein D, Pliskin JS. Shotgun vs. sequential testing: cost-effectiveness of diagnostic strategies for vaginitis. J Gen Int Med 2005; 20: 793-799.

81. Rubin A, Migneault JP, Marks L, Goldstein E, Ludena K, Friedman RH. Automated telephone screening for problem drinking. J. Stud. Alcohol 2006; 67: 454-457.

82. Migneault J, Farzanfar R, Wright J, Friedman RH. How to write health dialog for a talking computer. Journal of Biomedical Informatics 2006; 39(5): 468-481.

83. Farzanfar R, Frishkopf S, Friedman R, Ludena K. Evaluating an automated mental care system: making meaning of human-computer interaction. Computers in Human Behavior 2006, in press.

84. Velicer WF, Friedman RH, Fava JL, Gulliver SB, Keller S, Sun X, Ramelson H, Prochaska JO. Evaluating NRT and stage-based therapies in a population-based effectiveness trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 2006, in press.

85. Farzanfar R, Stevens R, Vachon L, Friedman RH, Locke S. Design and development of a workplace mental health assessment and intervention system. Journal of Medical Systems. In press.

86. King AC, Friedman RH, Marcus B, Castro C, Napolitano M, Ahn D, Baker L. Ongoing physical activity advice by humans versus computers: The Community Health Advice by Telephone (CHAT) Trial. Health Psychology. In press.


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