WELL Health Technologies Corp., a company focused on consolidating and modernizing clinical and digital assets within the healthcare sector, has announced its apps. Health marketplace and WELL EMR Group have launched an API (or “Application Programming Interface”) that supports the key industry interoperability standard known as FHIR (or “Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources”). FHIR is an emerging standard for exchanging healthcare data that has been broadly adopted in the U.S. and is being implemented in many other countries including Canada.
- Amir Javidan, Chief Operating Officer of WELL, said, “The last 10-15 years in healthcare have focused on the shift from paper to electronic medical records, but the full potential of the digital record and EMR systems have yet to be realized due to interoperability issues. Our adoption of FHIR and open identity standards within apps. Health will help standardize interoperability within healthcare, accelerate digital health innovation, and further drive improvements in patient care.”
- Currently in its fourth iteration, FHIR is a uniform data language and API for healthcare data exchange. It was first published by HL7 (Health Level Seven) in 2014, a not-for-profit organization that develops international standards for the exchange of health data. The success of any standard depends on adoption, and over the last few years, FHIR has been widely embraced by both public and private sectors globally; spurred further in the U.S. by the ONC (Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT) and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) writing FHIR into its newly established interoperability regulations in March 2020. An estimated 85% of hospital systems in the U.S. have the FHIR API available, which has now grown as the regulations take hold in 2021.
- With the adoption of FHIR, WELL is also launching Single Sign-On (SSO) capabilities leveraging industry identity standards. This will also allow clinicians to more easily and seamlessly access third-party digital health apps from within their EMR. Shervin Bakhtiari, GM for the Digital App business unit commented, “This is a game-changer for App developers, as this will eventually enable them to integrate and publish once and reach multiple EMR platforms in multiple countries reaching thousands of practitioners. We are very excited to be bringing these innovative capabilities to our apps. health ecosystem. We are breaking down the barriers and complexity involved with EMR integrations, and empowering healthcare professionals and patients with access to the thriving digital health landscape.”