New FHIR-based genomics API promises to accelerate precision medicine

By helping spot gene-based drug interactions, Translational Software says the interface could spur more routine clinical use of genomic data.
By Mike Miliard
09:31 AM
FHIR API precision medicine

Translational Software, a Bellevue, Washington-based developer of clinical decision support tools, has unveiled an application programming interface to help providers, labs and technology vendors to speed development of precision medicine-focused apps.

The API, developed using HL7's open source Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources specification, can query the company's platform, powered by First Databank, for data on drug-drug-gene interactions – alerting clinicians to potential adverse interactions.

As more and more FHIR-based apps are integrated with EHRs to offer point-of-care CDS alerts on drug efficacy and safety, the aim is for the API to enable a broad range of health information systems to be ready for when genetic testing becomes a routine part of clinical decision-making, officials say.

Precision medicine: Analytics, data science and EHRs in the new age

"An important frontier of precision medicine is the use of clinical genomic data in routine patient care," said Gil Alterovitz, a Harvard Medical School professor at the Computational Health Informatics Program in Boston Children’s Hospital and co-chair of HL7’s Clinical Genomics Work Group.

"One of the biggest impediments to wide-scale use of pharmacogenomics is the difficulty of integrating testing into the clinical workflow at the point where prescribing decisions are being made," added Translational Software CEO Don Rule.

Among the health organizations and software developers already using the API, which is available now: the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Research Institute, IT21 Solutions, First Vitals, RX Management, Sanford Health and Synergy. 

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