At Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC), Craig Federighi, SVP of Software Engineering, Apple, explained the driver for Apple Health and Healthkit as the need for greater interoperability between systems. He said, “Up to now, the information gathered by those (health) applications lives in silos … You can’t get a single, comprehensive picture of your health situation.”
Craig, we couldn’t agree more!
Sure, the continuing development of wearable devices promises a future in which all of us will have a better understanding and ultimately greater ownership of our health. It is a future in which providers are able to extend the point of care beyond the four walls of the hospital ward and monitor patients in real-time, wherever they might be.
Yet, in increasing the data available to clinicians and patients, the recent announcements of Fits, Kits and Wears also reinforce the importance of the interoperability of that data across systems. It is only when data is able to flow freely across devices that the promise of connected healthcare will truly be realized.
In this context, integration is critical. Moreover, integration increasingly refers not only to the platform and data standards through which information is exchanged, but also the APIs that allow such data exchange to occur. Health data will likely come to rest in a select series of silos, whether by software system — Federighi cited the Epic EMR serving some 100MM patients — or by emerging data platform. As Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo! serve our personal emails, so Google, Apple, Samsung and others, are vying for our personal health data. Ensuring an open and secure API ecosystem provides the key to unlock data from these silos.
Check out MuleSoft Healthcare to learn more, and stay tuned over the coming weeks as we explore the importance of integration across other industries.