Which Healthcare Interoperability Cloud Do You Like?
Recent announcements from Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Infor
There are many different healthcare interoperability clouds on the market right now. Which one should you choose? The answer is not so easy, because each company promises to be better than the next. Some offer pipelines for information management, and others focus on digital imaging communications in medicine (DICOM). You might want to start by considering your goals for your data and which cloud will help you meet those goals.
Microsoft Azure Healthcare API
Azure Healthcare APIs provide a PaaS platform where customers can ingest and manage their PHI data. Customers who work with health data can use these Azure APIs to connect disparate sets of PHI for machine learning, analytics, and AI.
.Key features include:
Structured data such as medical records from HL7 or C-CDA, generated by health devices, available through apps like HealthKit and Google Fit, or accessible on different databases can be ingested and translated for the FHIR.
Unstructured data can be mapped and annotated to FHIR, which is viewable alongside other structured clinical information.
DICOM data can be ingested through an API gateway, and the technology will extract relevant metadata from images and mapping it to patient records.
Devices generating biometric data can provide essential insights on health trends to care teams through FHIR integration.
Amazon released their healthlake service. As a result, users of Amazon HealthLake no longer have to worry about obtaining, provisioning, and managing the resources needed for infrastructure. Users will only need to create a new datastore on the AWS Console and configure it according to their encryption method preference (i.e., AWS-managed key or Bring Your Key).
Next, once the datastore is available, users can directly create, read, update, delete, and query their data. Furthermore, since Amazon HealthLake exposes a REST Application Programming Interface (API), users can integrate their application through several available SDKs.
If you are working with a format that is not FHIR, the company has included several connectors which allow easy conversion from HL7v2, CCDA, and flat file data to FHIR.
Google Healthcare Data Engine
Healthcare Data Engine contains the Google Cloud Healthcare API, tailored to provide longitudinal clinical insights in FHIR format. It can map over 90% of HL7 v2 messages - medications, patient updates - to FHIR across leading EHRs out-of-the-box, according to the company.
The goal is to enable a cloud environment for advanced analytics and artificial intelligence applications to help healthcare, and life sciences organizations harmonize data from electronic health records, claims data, and clinical trials.
Cloverleaf FHIR Server
The new server will provide healthcare organizations with a solution that aims to solve interoperability challenges within their organization. The product is the next-generation solution from the Infor Cloverleaf suite.
Infor FHIR Server provides a way for healthcare organizations to use modern technologies to digitize their operations by connecting data from both legacy and modern solutions into a single system. Implementations also support local requirements of the HL7 FHIR standard, making data available through secure web APIs for further analysis.
The FHIR server is part of a more overarching data interoperability platform that helps organizations with clinical data exchange. It has prebuilt connectors for easy integration into modern and legacy systems and continuous or batch processes.
Key Themes For Decision Makers
Who is the preferred partner of choice? CIOs will utilize their existing partners to select their cloud interoperability platform. If you are already a heavy user of azure and 365, stick with Microsoft. The same analogy would apply to the other providers.
Pick a partner and go all in. This is not a time to pilot since these solutions solve the same problem and provide a similar playbook on interoperability.
Invest in upskilling the engineers with an emphasis on native cloud development while mastering cloud-to-cloud integration. Avoid any potential for vendor lock-in.