Duke liberates Epic EHR data with Apple HealthKit and FHIR

Director of mobile technology strategy Ricky Bloomfield to discuss integration benefits at HIMSS16.
By Bill Siwicki
09:58 AM

Duke Medicine claims to be the first Epic-based health system to implement the Fast Health Information Resources application programming interface in conjunction with Apple's HealthKit within a live environment.

FHIR is an emerging interoperability protocol that was all the rage at HIMSS15 and appears to be even hotter going into HIMSS16 – where Duke’s director of mobile technology strategy Ricky Bloomfield, MD intends to discuss accomplishments and lessons learned during the Monday morning keynote titled “A leap forward in healthcare.”

Bloomfield’s talk will touch on recent innovations that help Duke’s physicians and patients connect in meaningful ways.

Using HealthKit and FHIR, for instance, “enables us to integrate standards-based apps without significant configuration or effort,” Bloomfield said.

[Also at HIMSS16: Biometrics a crucial next step for patient safety]

On top of that foundation Duke can “liberate electronic health records data by using standardized application programming interfaces so data can be consumed by innovators.”

Duke is among an elite corps of cutting-edge hospital systems already using Apple’s HealthKit in a pilot to integrate with Epic MyChart. Ochsner Health System and Stanford Health are also using HealthKit with Epic.

As the physician leading Duke’s HealthKit charge, Bloomfield has seen interest in a range of Duke’s practices areas, most notably endocrinologists, obstetrics and gynecology, even oncologists.

Whether at Duke, Ochsner, Stanford or elsewhere, hospitals and other provider organizations must understand the digital needs of their patients and create tools that help both patient and provider fulfill the goals of mobile and connected health: improved care and lower costs.

“Connected health is a means to an end — that end is to improve the health of all people, and to do so at lower cost,” Bloomfield said. “The greatest promise of connected health is that it enables and empowers patients to be more involved in their own care, which will hopefully decrease the emphasis on direct contact with healthcare organizations.”

For patients with chronic or otherwise severe disease, Bloomfield added, connected health will equip providers to monitor and treat them from afar, reducing the time and financial burden on these patients while keeping them away from other sick patients in a clinical setting.

Duke Medicine is out front in the move to improve care through mobile and connected health initiatives. For instance, it is an early adopter of Apple Inc.’s HealthKit software, piloting it with a small number of patients with an eye on integrating it with Duke’s implementation of the Epic MyChart electronic health record.

Bloomfield’s keynote session is schedule for Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 at the Sands Expo Convention Center in Galileo 901. HIMSS16 runs from Feb. 29-Mar. 4.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT

Want to get more stories like this one? Get daily news updates from Healthcare IT News.
Your subscription has been saved.
Something went wrong. Please try again.