Just about every provider of a platform in the cloud is moving down the same path; albeit at different rates of speed. First they figure out that developers of third-party applications can drive more usage of their platform, so they publish a private API. However, it’s not too long before they figure out that making that API public winds up driving the most usage of their platform.
The latest company making that journey is Zoeticx, a provider of a service through which developers can both access electronic medical records (EMR) via an API and build applications. This week Zoeticx released a new open API that run directly on top of the Zoeticx platform.
Zoeticx CEO Thanh Tran says Zoeticx has definitely seen the correlation between enabling application development and increased usage of a platform that is rapidly evolving into a backend-as-as-service (BaaS) platform for healthcare applications. That’s especially critical in a healthcare environment where developers need to have access to a robust platform capable of providing the security that healthcare applications require, says Tran.
The Zoeticx API resides within the Zoeticx’s Patient-Clarity server, which makes use of a Zoeticx Gateway to seamlessly read and write to any EMR system. The server drives the collaborative “smart” hub for Zoeticx’s own suite of CareIntelligence, CareSynergy, CareHistory and CareCompliance applications.
Tran says it’s conceivable that opening the API means that it’s possible that a third-party developer will use the Zoeticx server platform to create applications that compete with Zoeticx. In fact, Tran says that overlap in functionality between applications is almost inevitable. That said Tran says the benefits of creating a robust ecosystem of healthcare applications outweighs any competitive inconvenience. In fact, Tran says that having an open API is a critical component for enabling innovation in a healthcare sector that has been hamstrung by closed proprietary EMR systems for multiple decades.
Obviously, open EMR technology is a central tenet of the Affordable Care Act, which requires healthcare organizations to meet a number of mandates over the next several years. As that EMR data becomes more available it creates new opportunity for developers to benefit from the billions of dollars that have been invested in creating EMR systems.
In the case of Zoeticx Tran is essentially contending that it’s a lot more efficient to leverage a central service to access that data than try to build an application for every state and Federal exchange that exposes that data to various degrees of quality and consistency.