FHIR stands for ‘Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources‘ ( but pronounced as ‘Fire’ ) an application programming interface (API) for exchanging electronic health records. The standard was created by the Health Level Seven International (HL7) health-care standards organization.
Introduced in 2014, it has steadily grown in popularity and expectations and beginning to attract impactful organizations like Apple and others. There are two sides to this equation.
A data source entity that is willing to adhere to the API standard and make them available to everyone else. EHR companies top the list but anyone who is creating Patient-specific data would be able to export their data via the API.
And the endless list of eager and hungry startups looking to get their hands on the patient data to provide a value add to the patients as well as the providers.
When the enterprise organizations embraced the open API model they were quickly able to bring disparate systems together that saw an explosion of solutions. We saw the likes of Stripe, Twilio, Slack, Salesforce, Google Maps being embedded and extended way beyond the expectations of the original product companies. In all, it provided a larger footprint for these organizations and the ecosystem eventually brought more business and revenue opportunities.
When it comes to FHIR and healthcare providers we are just in the beginning phase. The closed nature of EHR products yet to visualize the full potential of opening up and embracing the FHIR model to see the real benefits. To their credit healthcare is unique in the sense you have to bring out the real value to the providers but at the same time, the level of transparency and privacy concerns are much higher than the traditional enterprise market segments. Hence they are a bit cautious in their approach.
We at Kencor focus primarily on the value we can bring out in combining the patient data using FHIR with the consumer/social/biometric data. For example knowing that the Patient Mr. John has an appointment with his cardiologist on Wednesday morning and he doesn’t drive, we provide an option for them to get a Uber/Lyft ride and make it easier for the patient, family, and the provider to know that the patient safely made it to the appointment and back home.
FHIR API pulls the patient data about their appointment and driving info, Lyft API to schedule a ride, location info to know the patient made it to the doctor office and text/message API to notify the provider and the family members all seamlessly done to ensure the patient experience is simple and easy to use.
The provider avoided a no show for the appointment which is a key value proposition they derived out of exposing the patient information. Kencor makes it transparent on how the patient data is used to derive the value.
FHIR did spark an innovation at Kencor. Watch out. You won’t be able to extinguish this FHIR anytime soon.