Where APIs meet Health Equity by Design: Introducing the FHIRedApp Health Innovation

Diana J. Smith

With a heightened target on health and fitness fairness all over our get the job done, ONC has adopted the strategy of “health equity by structure.” Alongside those lines, health IT can, and ought to, be made use of to superior determine and mitigate disparities although boosting opportunities for underrepresented populations. In 2019, below the Foremost Edge Acceleration Tasks (LEAP) for Wellbeing IT method, ONC funded the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Health-related University (Dell Med) to layout, acquire, and demonstrate enhanced patient engagement technologies for treatment and research, with a target on overall health fairness.

The Dell Med workforce proposed establishing a individual engagement technological know-how platform utilizing software programming interfaces (APIs) and the very same countrywide specifications for interoperability, security, and authorization getting utilized by digital wellness data, specifically FHIR® and Smart on FHIR.

Creating the FHIRedApp Platform

The FHIRedApp system was intended applying human-centered layout methodology to establish the wants and tastes of a numerous group of Latino, African-American, and Asian-American individuals. To style an quick-to-use system, the crew held 20 Group Engagement Studio (CES) classes with ethnically and racially assorted patients from Central Texas. The process involved beta screening, semi-structured interviews, and pilot testing with contributors to make sure the app’s superior usability.

A community navigator led every CES session, and the dialogue topics provided local community health encounters, neighborhood readiness, design and style choices, adoption, and sustainability. The course of action for building the application also integrated human-centered design and style methodologies and insights collected from the CES classes helped recognized characteristics and capabilities that ethnically and racially diverse individuals wanted from a health and fitness application platform.  A substantial-fidelity prototype of the application (Determine 1) was then developed, beta examined by various people, and utilized by the progress team to code for the final application.

Image of the FHIRedApp showing the prototype of how the app may work.

Figure 1: FHIRedApp high-fidelity prototype

While the FHIRedApp will be capable to join to FHIR API endpoints supplied by qualified EHR technologies expected by the ONC Cures Act Ultimate Rule, the platform has also been designed to leverage wellbeing details exchanges (HIEs) and exploration networks, which act as info aggregators from numerous EHRs. The FHIRedApp is also an application system that permits individuals to obtain entry to their knowledge, grant access to all or portion of their details, and make it offered to 3rd-social gathering app builders by way of FHIR APIs. The Dell Med workforce is presently building a pilot app to assistance with recruitment for analysis research and integration with social expert services referral networks.

The growth of FHIRedApp has proven how technology innovations making use of FHIR APIs for exchanging facts can be educated through a methodology of local community engagement and human-centered layout. Wanting forward, the workforce and community associates hope to frequently present more capabilities and enhancements on the platform and examination scalability making use of other HIEs and knowledge resources in the future. To discover extra about this challenge, study the Dell Med team’s findings.


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