Ecosystem thinking gives us the ability to achieve a truly open healthcare data system.

The modern era has provided easily accessible healthcare information through the collection and manipulation of data, but it has also created complexity. We see this in the amount and type of data that is available, the growing number of sources where it is captured and stored, and the more specialised ways in which it is being used. There is the emergence of ‘personalised medicine’, where advanced analytics can be applied to this information – including the person’s genome – giving management advice that is tailored to the individual rather than what has previously worked within a similar population. Following that advice often requires access to highly specialised services, but finding them can be a challenge.

And this material is complicated – it requires a deep understanding of specialised domains, vast quantities of information about both an individual and a population and the development of complex algorithms. With machine learning, facts are gleaned from this morass of data requiring powerful computing, more than a ‘normal’ Electronic Health Records (EHR) application can provide. How can this information and these capabilities be made available when, where and to whom they are needed?

HL7® FHIR® or Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources can enable an ‘ecosystem’ supporting access to, and manipulation of, healthcare data and services by many different applications. In this White Paper we’ll take a closer look at how FHIR and several derived standards could underpin such an ecosystem, and the types of services or components that will be needed.