The revolution in application development powering the modern smartphone lifestyle gravitationally attracts healthcare users. Patients, clinicians, administrators, and users across the healthcare industry expect applications and services that mirror the flexible capabilities on offer from the likes of consumer titans such as Amazon and Apple. Programmers will soon be able to meet this demand with better access to comprehensive patient information that supports not just point of care applications but also for a vast array of other applications such as care management, care coordination, patient applications, analytics, public health, and clinical research.
Historically, healthcare has suffered no lack of standards intended to make it faster, cheaper, and easier to develop and maintain application software. IHE profile developers clearly contemplated the idea of reusable functionality. However, today’s workhorse HL7 messaging and X.12’s healthcare standards, while once considered state-of-the-art ways to implement loosely coupled applications that use data sprinkled around a network, have become outdated. Programmers lean heavily on these technologies to deploy functionality and move lots of computable data around the healthcare system. But computing has gone in a different direction and it’s time for healthcare to follow suit.
How can the industry better leverage modern ideas such as REST APIs, microservices, standard languages, and new kinds of databases? We plan to explore this question in the New Models for Data Sharing and App Development panel at Convergence on Oct. 5. We are privileged to have David McCallie, SVP of Cerner, Dan Nigrin, CIO of Children’s Hospital Boston, and Aashima Gupta, Global Head of Google Cloud’s Healthcare Solutions organization on this panel.
Programmers lean heavily on these technologies [like HL7 messaging and X.12 healthcare standards] to deploy functionality and move lots of computable data around the healthcare system. But computing has gone in a different direction and it’s time for healthcare to follow suit.
These are some of the topics we plan to unpack:
Key Enabling Standards. FHIR makes data easier to get at, while SMART on FHIR provides a way for application front ends to get an authorized patient context and build on existing applications. APIs based on these standards, accompanied by streamlined rules of the road, will provide programmers with a more straightforward way to access data and build applications. Effective API-based programs are relatively new for most healthcare players, and many will need help from vendors to develop and to implement them.
More Data, Organizations, and Users. Payers and providers will soon be coping with more data, more connections to other organizations, and more different kinds of users. The coming tsunami of data from devices and patients themselves will be used in lots of ways. Payers and providers are seeking out the social determinants of health for individual patients and populations to get a better understanding of care needs and risk. Social service agencies can facilitate access or provide some of this data and will also want access to data from payers and providers. Payer interest in participating in public HIEs is growing strongly.
Where From Here? While efforts to measure interoperability are under consideration, many urge caution. How will we know when the industry has achieved peak data sharing?
We hope you will join us as we dive into some of the implications of moving beyond EHR-centric legacy standards and proprietary development tools to the new world of open development.