In the beginning of September, Redox participated in FHIR Connectathon 16 in San Diego. It was a lot of fun and a very worthwhile experience—we learned a lot, built some awesome prototypes, and met lots of great people.
What we worked on
Benjamin and I were excited to join the FHIR Subscriptions track. Subscription are how Pub/Sub will work in the FHIRverse, and it fits very nicely into the Redox ecosystem. Our concept of subscriptions are based on Data Models, which is not very different from FHIR subscription. Each Subscription is based on a topic, which map to EventDefintions.
We prototyped out turning all of our DataModels and Events into FHIR EventDefinitions. We also enhanced our internal FHIR server to receive Subscription resources and started building out the logic that would allow us to trigger updates for a given subscription.
Subscriptions have a lot of potential, and as part of connecting at the Connectathon, we will be watching the development and providing feedback. Our perspective is unique amongst many of the Connectathon participants because we work with hundreds of applications and health systems. For better or for worse, we’re deep in the trenches of integration, and we uniquely understand how different vendors operate.
FHIR is a not a disruptive innovation, it’s a sustaining innovation. If you’ve read Clayton Christensen (and I know this is an absurd comparison), you know standards development doesn’t work like a business. The parallel that I see is the value network—who lines up on the different sides of a FHIR connection? For the most part, these are the same groups that have always been a part of HL7.
I always tell our team that the biggest problem in interoperability is The Connectivity Problem. The promise of FHIR for Redox is us spending less time working through the inconsistency of HL7v2, the arcaneness of HL7v3, the nuances of custom APIs, and focusing on adding more nodes to our growing network.