Interoperability is an essential component to enabling digital transformation in healthcare across the world. SMART on FHIR is an open application programming interface that allows for healthcare app development (and clinicians to select apps) that work with their EHR system, regardless of vendor.
The key focus of SMART is to develop a SMART platform architecture to achieve two major goals: develop a user interface to allow substitutability for medical apps based on shared basic components; and create a set of services to enable efficient data capture, storage, retrieval and analytics. The overarching mission of SMART is to ‘create an ecosystem of substitutable apps that can run on any EHR system’. Substitutability is defined as the capability to seamlessly replace one app with another of similar functionality, without requiring any re-engineering or technical expertise.
FHIR (pronounced ‘fire’), Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources, is a standards framework created by HL7, an organisation that develops standards related to the exchange and sharing of electronic health data. FHIR solutions are built from modular components in such a way that any EHR system can read extensions in app coding for seamless implementations.
Blending the two together, ‘SMART on FHIR’ is the SMART project’s latest platform offering, whose vision is to provide the resources for developers to build medical apps using ‘developer-friendly APIs’ that integrate into any EHR system at the point of care, allowing for ‘plug and play’ usability.