There are a lot of opportunities for developers in the healthcare space, but accessing the data needed to drive those applications can be maddeningly frustrating. There are no shortage of electronic medical record (EMR) systems, but they all have their own proprietary interfaces.
Trying to end-run those proprietary systems led Zoeticx to create a cloud service that normalized EMR data via a set of APIs. Now Zoeticx is taking that capability to the next logical step by allowing developers to build applications that will run directly on top of the Zoeticx Hub service alongside Zoeticx applications in the cloud. Zoeticx is running on Red Hat Enterprise 6. The company’s API/SDK is based on Java.
While making it easier for patients and physicians to access healthcare data has been a hallmark of most of the “Obamacare” initiatives, the practical reality is most of that data is locked up in proprietary EMR systems, Zoeticx CEO Thanh Tran says. Because that data has not been readily accessible, development of healthcare applications has been stunted.
The Healthcare Oriented Architecture (HOA) middleware developed by Zoeticx eliminates the need for any duplication of data. In contrast, health information exchanges (HIEs) require ongoing data duplication, synchronization and monitoring, Tran says, because there are no data standards. In addition to centralizing those functions, Zoeticx includes capabilities such as push notification services that developers can incorporate in their applications, he says.
In addition to patient data security, the question of who controls patient data is at the heart of the contention among state and Federal government agencies, insurers and healthcare providers. Rather than navigating a maze of government and healthcare entities that often have competing agendas, Zoeticx provides a central repository through which developers—once granted permission—can access all that data, Tran says.
While access to and paying for healthcare are heated political issues, finding a practical way to gain access to healthcare data has been problematic for developers; especially when you consider the fragile IT nature of many of the healthcare exchanges. Most HIEs are simply happy to be up and running, never mind providing access to data through APIs that could easily overwhelm these systems.
In spite of all the issues, however, it looks like demand for new applications in the age of digital healthcare is about to skyrocket. The challenge will be servicing that demand in a way that causes the least amount of developer pain.