Something New and Powerful: SMART on FHIR®

Medical apps that integrate into diverse EHR systems at the point of care.

Open standards for healthcare data, authorization, and UI integration.

Making it Real!
At Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, the SMART Platforms Project has been funded since 2010 to realize this powerful vision. We’ve iterated on our platform to make it as easy as possible for app developers to get to data and for EHR vendors to implement a common API.

We began with the SMART Reference Platform, developing and maintaining a custom set of data models and a corresponding RESTful API. We combined this API with standards-based authorization and UI integration, and we provided sample patient data and SMART apps to illustrate the platform.

In 2014, FHIR® arrived: Fast Health Interoperability Resources.

FHIR is an exciting, newly-published open healthcare data standard from HL7. It is a practical, robust approach to exposing granular data — a well-recognized need for developer-friendly APIs. In January 2014, FHIR achieved a milestone by being officially designated as a Draft Standard for Trial Use.

We recognized in FHIR a new opportunity to align SMART’s vision with an open, fresh standards-based data layer. Like SMART, FHIR provides for RESTful access to clean, granular data. FHIR specifically represents granular clinical concepts as a set of resources that may be addressed individually or in aggregate. The API provides for individual patient and population-wide queries. It enables exchanging health records in highly readable XML and JSON, so it’s highly accessible to a large population of developers. It also brings a large set of data models and vocabularies informed by real-world implementer experience. And FHIR can be implemented incrementally, making it ideal for vendors to adopt in stages.

SMART on FHIR, our newest platform offering, will provide a complete open standards-based technology stack. For the data layer, we use the FHIR API and resource definitions. For authorization, we use a profile of OAuth2. And for UI integration, we use Web technology. With SMART on FHIR, developers can integrate a vast array of clinical data with ease. In mapping SMART onto FHIR, we completely adapted our work to a standards-based effort and in the process, added new capabilities for SMART App developers, even while providing a more compelling case for vendor adoption.

SMART on FHIR Demonstration at HIMSS 14
SMART on FHIR will be on display in the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase at the Cerner Corporation and Intermountain Healthcare booths, among others.

More about SMART and FHIR

SMART, FHIR, and a Plan for Achieving Healthcare IT Interoperability

HL7 Standards: FHIR

No Small Change for the Health Information Economy

Contact Information

Joshua Mandel, Lead Architect, SMART Platforms Project

David Kreda, Translation Advisor, SMART Platforms Project

Rachel Ramoni, Executive Director, SMART Platforms Project

Acknowledgements: Special Thanks to…

Grahame Grieve, Ewout Kramer, Lloyd McKenzie — and the growing FHIR community!

David McCallie at Cerner, Stan Huff at Intermountain, and the teams at Harris, HP, Intermountain, and Cerner for collaborating on a set of stellar prototypes for HIMSS!

Interested in learning more about SMART on FHIR?


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