Dr. Don Rucker Discusses the Power of FHIR® at HIMSS22

While attending HIMSS 22 last week in Orlando, 1upHealth’s Chief Strategy Officer and Former ONC Chief, Dr. Don Rucker, sat down with Healthcare IT News to discuss the power of FHIR® and how 1upHealth is leveraging it to help transform the healthcare industry. As Dr. Rucker expressed in his interview, the ability to represent data uniformly is arguably a bigger win than the ability to transmit it – and FHIR will be a key way of doing so.

To read the interview in full, click here: Read Article

This article was originally published by Healthcare IT News on March 21, 2022. 

Q: What do you see as the main promise of FHIR?

A: I would say there’s two of them.

One is, you have a relatively standardized way of representing clinical data – and notice I said “representing,” not just interoperating. The ability to represent things uniformly is a bigger win than just, “I can move it from here to there.” 

Historically, in healthcare, HL7v2 relied on tab-delimited files. And then there were some other things – there was the X12, for claims data. Obviously, imaging has always had different stuff, too. 

What FHIR says is: “Let’s have a uniform representation for all of these things, using modern technologies.” 

So, one part is the uniformity of it.

What FHIR does is it leverages something called JavaScript Object Notation [JSON], which is a modern way of representing data, all data. So, the apps on your smartphone, most of those, right, every app on your smartphone, is hooked up to a server. That’s how they make money. That back and forth is JSON, more likely than not. 

And so, that back and forth means the second part of why FHIR is important: You can now use the entire software stack that has been built up for the app economy. All the programmers, all the kids in garages. All of the software stacks, the infrastructure – all of that is now in healthcare for the first time, using the broader software.

Q: What role does 1Up play in all this?

A: What 1Up does is say, “How are you going to use FHIR in this modern world to do stuff? The API exists. What are you going to do on the other side of the API?”

So 1Up is a platform that says, “In this world, app vendors and providers and payers are wanting to do massive computing at scale, using FHIR.” All claims are not in FHIR, and there’s a lot of clinical data that’s not in FHIR. So, we have a platform to get all of this into FHIR, and to do it at vast scale, so we can ingest and generate a quarter-million FHIR resources a minute. That’s real volume.

. . .

You want to build an app in this world; you need to be able to rearrange all of these things in real time. So, we represent the entire world as atomic FHIR resources, which is unique. Then, we represent it in NoSQL, in columnar stores, in relational stores – so, we have multiple ways to get at it. That’s sort of what you also need to actually make it work.

Finally, we do field-level security on every data field because we figured out a very clever way of indexing privacy: We put in every resource with its own privacy stack.

About Healthcare IT News: 

Healthcare IT News, owned by HIMSS Media, is the industry’s authoritative source covering the people, policy and technology driving next-generation healthcare in the U.S. and throughout the world. Since 2003, it has been the voice of health IT, delivering editorial insights about compelling topics such as electronic health records, health information exchange, privacy and security, data analytics, patient engagement, population health and revenue cycle management.

About 1upHealth: 

1upHealth is the leading FHIR® platform that connects an ecosystem of payers, providers, patients, life sciences, and app developers within a trusted interoperability network. Unlike legacy enterprise companies, 1upHealth was created and built with the modern healthcare infrastructure in mind. The 1up FHIR® platform is serverless with cloud-native applications that transform data at enterprise scale with greater ease and simplicity to improve patient outcomes, drive population-level analytics and enable medical innovation. Founded in 2017, the company is connected to more than 10,000 clinical and payer endpoints with best-in-class FHIR® APIs. Gartner designated 1upHealth a “Cool Vendor in Healthcare Interoperability” for its FHIR® platform.

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