The foundation of many mobile physician applications is some sort of NPI lookup. In many ways, the NPI is the social security number for clinicians. It’s a unique identifier for a clinician and pretty much all of them have one. The good part is that the NPI data is downloadable for those who want to use it. Here’s Michael Wasser’s description of the NPI data:
The NPI is downloadable and is made up of basic demographics (name, sex), location information (business address, practice address), affiliations, and details of their practice (taxonomy codes). It is maintained by Cognosante for the federal government. Weekly disseminations are available at http://nppes.viva-it.com/NPI_Files.html. The total size of the NPI is about 4.5 Gigabytes.
The problem: The data isn’t huge, but its too big for excel or to just casually include in an application.
Like any good hacker, Michael Wasser saw this problem and decided to create a solution. That solution is called the BloomAPI (see also the github repository). I think this NPI lookup tool is a really great offering to the healthcare IT community. I’m sure we’ll see many applications use this going forward.