How can Healthcare APIs Revolutionize the Industry?
Since we are living in the era of technology, we can see that all industries are taking some influence from the digital world. Each and every one of those area trying to find the way to potential customers through the internet. Of course, that is the case in today`s healthcare industry.
With that in mind, we can see why the number of companies in the healthcare industry, who are trying to find uses for mobile and web apps, is increasing. Those uses usually are about using their own data resources in new ways and delivering significant information to the patients.
This is where APIs come into the play. Modern ones, created by following the best practices in API design can actually have a huge impact on healthcare. And you’re now probably wondering, how are the developers using them anyway?
Well, along with meeting the usual demands, developers are trying to improve existing services, efficiency, and creating new applications based on old ones. By using APIs, developers are creating new ways for healthcare providers to communicate with the patients through applications.
Why Are APIs so Important for Health IT Development?
Like for almost any industry today, the healthcare industry`s modernization is at hand. Today, digital information is becoming a standard in the industry. Because of the IT infrastructure that is migrating to the cloud, the organizations are facing difficulties in sharing and accessing the needed data. This is happening because of various data sets that are using different formats, making the communication between applications challenging.
APIs are serving as points in this communication, so they are being developed for making this process smoother and more efficient. Naturally, this communication needs security. It is required of APIs to provide a means for building a trusted connection with an app that is sending the request for patients data. If the developer wants to ensure this, it needs to include methods for registering the application that asks for information, approving the requests, saving all the interaction among the data source and the app.
Besides security, there are two more elements that are asking for the developer`s attention. The developer needs to provide a way for an application to query for a particular patient or patient`s information. That way of accessing the patient would simplify the whole process of acquiring data. And last but not least, API would need to provide two types of responses and requests. Those types would be ALL and BY DATA CATEGORY.
Using Healthcare APIs for the Integration of Data
The most common problem that can emerge in healthcare`s data integration is the lack of compatibility of data formats between two organizations. Some organization took upon themselves to find a solution to this issue. For example, The Regenstrief Institute tried to use and combine patients health data from various sources in order to create an industry data standard. Although their solution never reached a full implementation, they proved that something like this is possible.
Healthcare API Security
Having an application without accurately secured API could potentially be dangerous. With the knowledge of how public APIs work, the fear of user gaining too much data is valid. Even if the particular user is not corrupt, him gaining more access than it should open a possibility for other malicious attacks. If you are looking for a secure API, it should include encryption and authentication. The encryption is hiding the data from unauthorized users. The authentication is used for determining user`s uniqueness and which part of data that user can access.
The Future of APIs in Healthcare
The future of APIs in the healthcare industry looks pretty certain. The reason being the support from government organizations. The government agencies are promoting the use of APIs in healthcare IT base. They released a statement where they said that APIs are there to meet the demands for accessing the digital patient information, with the addition of a truly simple way of obtaining that data.
Throughout the time new challenges emerged. Among those challenges are: improving the user experience, organizing the development of application-based solutions across the healthcare industry, and helping patients in accessing their data. Those issues are approached by a number of organizations, which are looking for the best solutions. With the continuation of API development, creating a healthcare app standard for the whole industry is becoming a priority.
As we said, the healthcare industry faces many challenges when it comes to its IT systems. In the future, with the progression of APIs, organizations need to prepare their systems for implementing cloud solutions and application development where needed. By improving their IT systems, they can become much more efficient. Providing the best possible service for the patients is a priority.
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