In her opening remarks at the 2nd ONC Interoperability Forum, Centers for Medicaid and Medicare (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma set the goal of eliminating the use of fax machines in healthcare by 2020. It’s true – fax is still the most common form of communication among providers for transmission of medical records, test results, instructions, and treatment regimens all thanks to its insusceptibility to hacking. While the rest of the world is embracing digitalization and the benefits it has brought us, healthcare seemed a bit reluctant about moving on. Fax or other paper-based records are largely inconvenient and created barriers to information exchange.
In the era of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we’re generating data in an unbelievable speed – more information to process, exchange and analyze, posing bigger challenges for snail-paced interoperability progress. Tech giants see this lack of interoperability as a perfect opportunity to enter healthcare and disrupt the “broken” industry. Apple Health is promoting open API for iOS users to own their health data; Amazon’s working with multiple healthcare organizations to build its own system; and the recent interoperability pledge by the six big companies is set to transform healthcare data infrastructure.
Coming from an outsider perspective, these companies are familiar with the user authorization approach. When you sign in to an app with your Google account, you’ll be asked to grant the app access to your information through an authentication protocol called OAuth 2.0. Ideally, this is the vision for healthcare data use in the future.
But the existing healthcare data infrastructure, in the meantime, is drastically different from the one these tech giants are familiar with. Perhaps a more realistic, pragmatic approach is to work with the established stakeholders in healthcare, particularly the big EHR vendors, instead of bringing in a whole new system to solve interoperability.
Join us for this week’s #HITsm chat to discuss interoperability’s impact on technology adoption in healthcare and share your opinions on what stakeholders need to do to improve interoperability and accelerate technology adoption.
Topics for this week’s #HITsm Chat:
T1: What are the biggest barriers to technology adoption in healthcare? #HITsm
T2: Is interoperability more challenging now with more data generated by technologies such as AI? #HITsm
T3: Will patient-authorized API access bring fundamental changes to interoperability? #HITsm
T4: How will tech giants’ move into healthcare impact interoperability? #HITsm
T5: What needs to be done by the established stakeholders in healthcare, e.g. EHR vendors, to solve interoperability? #HITsm
Bonus: What do you want as a patient when it comes to interoperability? #HITsm
We look forward to learning from the #HITsm community! As always, let us know if you’d like to host a future #HITsm chat or if you know someone you think we should invite to host.
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