These days, consumers expect more health information, in usable form, at their fingertips. However, the collected information gets stored in various data silos, with no easy way of accessing electronic health records (EHRs), or pulling meaningful information about a consumer without that consumer’s consent, resulting in an incomplete picture of a consumer’s health. In a recent article for BetaNews, Aashima Gupta discussed how APIs are allowing applications to move data between healthcare institutions to help consumers monitor and manage their own health and fitness.
The key to a complete health picture for each consumer is the moving of data between the respective data stores of healthcare institutions, in the same way that financial institutions do. A recent announcement from HL7, an authority on interoperability in healthcare IT, claimed they are looking to adopt the proven technologies of the internet to replace the current complex health interoperability standards. The project, called Project Argonaut, will accelerate the development and adoption of HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) – an API for exchanging electronic health records.
These lightweight APIs offer a secure mechanism to authenticate and manage the flow and integration of data across boundaries, which covers the notion of data liquidity that is essential to a holistic digital health ecosystem. By promoting security, authentication and trust of the data being transmitted, APIs hold the key to liberating consumer health data, allowing us to better self-manage our health.