“CCD export” doesn’t solve interoperability

Meaningful Use mandates CCD export from EMRs. Here are some reasons why we’re still querying database tables and calling vendor-specific web services to extract the data we need to fuel apps.

At yesterday’s Health 2.0 conference, Farzad Mostashari asked why SMART isn’t using CCD export (as specified by Meaningful Use) to extract data from EMR systems. This is a great question, in part because it separates out two important aspects of SMART:

  1. Getting data out of today’s EHRs
  2. Presenting those data to apps in a natural, convenient, developer-friendly way.

—and focuses on #1. (I don’t think many would argue that CCD is fit for #2. And to be clear: for developers building a SMART app, the details of #1 are almost irrelevant. SMART app developers get one clear-cut API to work with, and consistent SMART data elements)

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OpenMRS releases SMART Module

SMART and OpenMRS are proud to announce the initial release of a SMART module for OpenMRS.

This module expands the reach of the SMART API by allowing apps to run (unmodified!) on the open-source Open Medical Record System. It also provides a lightweight interface for developers who want to extend the functionality of OpenMRS.

Work on this module began as a Google Summer of Code project and continued through the fall with support from the OpenMRS team.

The initial release provides developers access to the SMART Connect API in OpenMRS. SMART REST API support is planned for a future release.

SMART + OpenMRS: Google Summer of Code

OpenMRS has been funded for its fifth consecutive Google Summer of Code!

Among a host of exciting projects, SMART is working with OpenMRS to propose:

Enabling SMART Apps in OpenMRS

Tutorials: RDF and SPARQL

SMART apps receive patient data in RDF graphs that contain a set of assertions or “triples” such as:
{ <John Smith> <is-taking> <lipitor> }

We think RDF is a flexible and elegant way to represent all kinds of data.  But we recognize that RDF and SPARQL (a query language for RDF graphs) aren’t regular items in every Web developer’s toolkit. To help SMART developers get up to speed, we’ve written a pair of tutorials on our wiki:

  1. Quick Introduction to RDF and SPARQL:  Explains the basics of how RDF represents information as triples.
  2. SPARQL Examples for SMART:  Provides a live, hands-on interface to query sample SMART data from the reference container.

Please have a look, try out the live query tools, and let us know what you think!

Health 2.0

The fourth annual Health 2.0 conference is abuzz about “unplatforms” — loose collections of liquid data services and interlinked apps that allow for mix-ins, mash-ups, and rapid innovation. The unplatform is “un” becaues it doesn’t rely on a central service, repository, or framework. Instead, it’s a frothy milieu of various data and services: in other words, all right ingredients for apps to emerge.
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