On July 28th, I’ll have the incredible opportunity to present at the HL7 FHIR Applications Roundtable showcase at Harvard Medical Center. The title of my talk is “FHIR Magic: The API ingredient at the heart of Meaningful Use”.
The magic of APIs
When it comes to the benefits of APIs, the thing I believe in my heart is that it’s not about the API at all. APIs make integration easy. The thing is, integration is hard for a few reasons. Only one of which is the development of communications protocols between systems. APIs, with standards-based communications protocols solves this one piece of the puzzle.
The bigger problem relates to the whole application lifecycle. Point-to-point integration creates application silos that make applications brittle in response to change. Changes to applications, even minor ones, can have ripple effects and unintended (bad) consequences.
The magic of APIs is that you break down those silos, reducing dependencies between systems. It means you can add security without breaking open the application. You can create SLA’s for a particular use of an API, so one application doesn’t have to try to negotiate between different business use cases. You can have anyone develop against the API without explicit permission of the API provider (but without giving up governance or security).
The abstraction layer
In order to achieve these benefits you have to have a layer between consumer and provider. That layer is (poorly and unfortunately) called API Management.
FHIR is a modern take on healthcare communication protocols based on REST/JSON. It’s perfectly suited for the CA API Management suite of offerings.
We have created a healthcare developer sandbox by standing up an instance of our SaaS Developer Portal and connecting it to a FHIR server. We’ve preloaded the API resources into the API Gateway, and then added OAuth support to show how we can protect APIs even when the back-end server doesn’t provide the security.
At CA, we’re on FHIR
If you’re trying to learn more about FHIR or want to explore some of the value that we can provide, you can create a login and try out what we’ve released. Imagine in addition to the developer interface we’re exposing, there’s an API provider interface that would allow API owners to manage how the APIs are used — specifying security protocols or metering/SLAs for the different applications the APIs are used for.
To learn more about CA’s Healthcare FHIR API Sandbox reach out to me (I’d love to hear about what you’re doing with FHIR), or head over to the landing page. If you’d like to try it, you can request a login right on the portal page.