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SMART On FHIR – A New World of Data Integration

Nov 22, 2021

In today’s world, to deliver a value-based service, healthcare companies recognizes that an omnichannel consumer engagement is indispensable. But due to the fragmentation of healthcare data, implementation of digital strategies becomes a challenge. These data fragmentation problems can be resolved by the Substitutable Medical Applications and Reusable Technologies (SMART) platform.

This platform standardizes how patient data is shared and accessed and has become a standard protocol for obtaining electronic health records (EHRs). SMART on FHIR develops plug-in medical applications that integrate and innately run inside any compliant EHR to increase its functionality.

SMART On FHIR
  • SMART is an open-source API that endows universal and secure access to EHRs. The platform SMART is created on the existing Fast Health Interoperability Resources (FHIR). SMART depends on FHIR data standardization while also furnishing an additional security layer for authorization. Open standards are established for authorization, authentication, and UI integration that define how to create applications with universal access to EHRs.
  • Open-source libraries and tools for developers make it effortless to utilize SMART standards during the development of the application. The platform also provides a free sandbox that enables developers to test their applications before deployment.
  • An application gallery emphasizes all healthcare software and applications that presently use SMART on FHIR’s platform.

SMART on FHIR enhances healthcare interoperability and encourages technological innovation in healthcare. It furnishes a universal, standard API for accessing EHRs. Any EHR database that uses SMART works with any technology that is created using SMART. This allows the patients and health systems to access medical information on the best-suited applications.

SMART also streamlines the application development for health tech companies. The creation of customized connections to each EHR database by the developers is not required. Only once do they need to develop their applications using SMART, and those apps will work with any EHR databases created with SMART. Henceforth, we can say SMART on FHIR makes it lucid for developers to create health applications that integrate with Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems:

  • Developers handle concrete data objects rather than the usage of abstract data layers.
  • Data processing is done in a bug-free manner and is always shared in a predictable and digestible format.
  • Extensively applicable data-type templates win over interface-specific definitions.
Benefits of SMART on FHIR
  • Easy Integration: With SMART on FHIR coming into the picture, integrating various health applications with EHR/EMR systems has become much easier.  
  • Security: SMART on FHIR gives the provision of adding authentication and authorization protocols to a health application. This technology enables the users to log in only once since it supports a single sign-in which helps to switch between various health apps that share EHR data without signing in individually into every application.
  • Healthcare Patients and Providers: SMART on the FHIR platform enables the creation of applications that can link up healthcare patients and professionals with relative ease. It is feasible for the healthcare sector to expand the existing healthcare IT system by adding new potentialities. Besides, integration of data from new sources is also possible. 
  • Cost-effective: Using SMART on FHIR, the creation cost of EHR compliant health applications has drastically decreased.   
  • Healthcare Application Developers: Developers get free, open-source resources and tools to easily create the applications. Application gallery maintained by SMART on FHIR helps the developers to a considerable extent.

For the healthcare sector, the adoption of SMART on FHIR is a necessity. Due to this reason, massive EHR operators have already started using SMART.

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