Interoperability groups team up for open source healthcare developer sandbox

InterOp.Community – a joint project of the Interoperability Institute, IHE USA, Interopion and Red Hat – aims to advance health information sharing via open platforms and open source software.
By Mike Miliard
10:55 AM
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(Photo: Lukas/Pexels)

A quartet of interoperability standards groups and technology developers are joining forces to encourage open source approaches to healthcare interoperability.

WHY IT MATTERS
InterOp.Community – a new venture of the Interoperability Institute, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise USA, Interopion and Red Hat – will offer a developer sandbox to spur use of open platforms for health data exchange.

They'll provide standards-driven interfaces for electronic health records, hospitals, health information exchanges, labs and insurers – acting as an incubator for interoperability innovation.

The sandbox is expected to be launched during the second quarter of 2021. Once it's complete, the plan is to use it in a series of "interopathons" for application development and testing, the groups said.

"IOI is committed to an open 'meritocracy' consistent with thriving open source communities, as well as commercially friendly open source licensing," said Mary Kratz, executive vice president of Interoperability Institute, in a statement.

"This would assure that participants and consumers alike would have access and latitude to use the outputs of this work as they see fit, including commercial and academic purposes. Together, we are working diligently to launch this shared digital space that will allow for advanced interoperability testing and development across different organizations and systems.

The goal is for the cloud-based InterOp.Community to serve as a next-generation proving ground – offering open source developers tools to help build, launch and test health apps. It will also offer synthetic data to enable modeling of real-world healthcare scenarios.

"We, collectively, are committed to transforming healthcare through the advancement of interoperability," said Joyce Sensmeier, senior advisor of informatics at HIMSS (parent company of Healthcare IT News) and president of IHE USA.

"IHE USA is proud to be partnering with this initiative to accelerate the delivery of innovative healthcare applications that will improve health and healthcare," said Sensmeier. "We look forward to advancing the innovation that will come from this community sandbox."

THE LARGER TREND
IOI already runs Interoperability Land – an AWS Marketplace-hosted collaborative environment for healthcare developers. But with InterOp.Community, it hopes to further advance an open source complement to that environment, officials said.

Through this new virtual environment it aims to offer a space to design, test and prototype new interoperability software, providing an enterprise environment with none of the overhead.

ON THE RECORD
"Simulated environments like InterOp.Community are revolutionizing health care, including the way that we combat and track the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," said Rick Freeman, president and CEO of Interopion, in a statement. "Interopion is honored to partner with other forward-thinking HIT stakeholders to accelerate interoperability by providing access to critical technology."

"At Red Hat, we've spent more than two decades collaborating on community projects and protecting open source licenses so we can continue to develop software that pushes the boundaries of technological ability," added Ben Cushing, CTO for Federal Health at Red Hat.

"InterOp.Community is the embodiment of these principles … a unique sandbox, built for global healthcare innovators to converge and solve some of the toughest challenges facing providers, payers, and patients," he said.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.

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