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Highlights from FHIR® North Connectathon 2016

Healthcare technology implementers from across the country gathered for FHIR® North 2016: Canada’s FHIR Connectathon. FHIR® (Fast Health Interoperability Resources) is the latest standards framework under development by Health Level Seven International (HL7). Interest in FHIR has continued to build, and despite the fact that it is still a draft standard, there has already been significant adoption in real world applications. The session, hosted by, Gevity, Mohawk College and University Health Network (UHN), provided an opportunity to learn from the experts, exchange ideas and experiment with the technology.

For those who missed the opportunity to participate, the session featured demonstrations of real world projects using FHIR. A student project was featured using FHIR in a mobile app with MedicAlert®, whereby the app enables first responders to access the MedicAlert Foundation database when attending to patients.

Also highlighted at the Connectathon, Leveraging Panorama for Enhanced Interoperability (LEAP) Project in Ontario is a new initiative that leverages FHIR interoperability. A collaboration between the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) and Mohawk College’s mHealth & eHealth Development and Innovation Centre (MEDIC), LEAP is focused on immunization interoperability. The project’s progress highlighted how the FHIR-enabled data transmission will allow for immunization records to be exchanged between various point-of-service systems and the Ontario provincial repository, Panorama. An early focus of this effort will enable parents of school-aged children (zero to six) to submit and view records via mobile and web-based applications.

It’s clear that there is an interest in this standards framework. FHIR is open source and has an extensive community of contributors and implementers, as well as a wealth of resources available online. If you are working with FHIR, or if you would you like to learn how FHIR may reduce development efforts, the HL7 Community hosts regular discussions on FHIR that may be of interest.

Please visit the HL7 Community for additional FHIR resources and to get engaged in the dialogue.

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