Joint task force to simplify merging personal health data into EHRs, drafts FHIR spec

PCHAlliance and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise seek to enhance continuity of care by working on mobile health apps and personal health monitoring devices.
By Bill Siwicki
11:33 AM
Joint task force to simplify merging personal health data into EHRs, drafts FHIR spec

The Personal Connected Health Alliance (PCHAlliance) and Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) have joined forces to simplify the collection and sharing of health data generated by personal health monitoring devices and mobile apps to improve continuity of care.

A joint task force formed earlier this year has drafted a specification that applies the HL7 FHIR standard to report measurements taken by personal healthcare devices and mobile apps outside of healthcare facilities and report those measurements back to the person’s electronic health record.

More work to do

Test tools from both organizations are being integrated to create one process by which IT vendors can demonstrate consensus-based implementation of this specification during IHE Connectathons. Further alignment and integration of implementation guidance and testing are planned over the coming year.

“The growing adoption of personal devices that monitor daily activity are paving the way for the mainstream monitoring of personal health information. This information can be fed into health record systems, thus improving treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, COPD and heart disease,” said Kerry Amato, executive director of health innovation at HIMSS.

“The PCHAlliance is becoming a member of IHE and will sponsor resources to help ensure the success of this initiative,” Amato added.

To further align and integrate specifications and tools - and test and accelerate the adoption of remote patient monitoring - PCHAlliance and IHE International are meeting in Boston this week during the Connected Health Conference to formally launch the Personal Connected Health subdomain within the IHE Patient Care Device Domain.

Recognized, consensus-based approaches

Over the coming year, this group will develop IHE profiles that leverage and build upon the Continua Design Guidelines. Once complete, IHE will apply its established process for industry stakeholders to implement globally recognized, consensus-based approaches to connect and test both personal and clinical devices and integrate them into health information systems.

Additionally, the joint task force will explore and address how the specification supports both medical devices and mainstream consumer-facing apps to enable scalable interoperability of the rapidly expanding connected health ecosystem.

“Motivated by this advancement, the value proposition is even stronger for solutions that connect content from personal devices into the overall, person-centric health record that is used to support care continuity and care quality for the consumer,” said Dr. Michael McCoy, IHE board co-chair.

“Indicative of its growing role as a key health ecosystem participant, PCHAlliance has entered into a new collaboration with IHE,” he continued. “Along with HIMSS, and others, this new collaborative will also engage with care delivery network stakeholders who have a fiduciary interest in population health outcomes like payers, ministries of health, public care delivery networks such as VHA, etc.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com
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