Far more than being clever wordplay, the ‘Planet of the APIs’ speaks to a greater vision of which FHIR is a part. Indeed, the overarching vision of FHIR has always been the stated goal of health data interoperability and APIs represent a most critical, central component. Enabling faster, interoperable access to patient records by leveraging the use of APIs is gaining greater momentum on a truly global scale. Liberating data from previously locked-in siloes and implementing data exchange both between and within organizations has implications not only for patient health outcomes but for population health, clinical and scientific research as well as unforeseen innovations that are yet to come. Only this time, rather than the post-apocalyptic world encountered by Zaius, the future we are building is one of mutual collaboration, partnership and trust. Perhaps one day in this not too distant future, generations will look back at the early days of FHIR and proclaim: “you finally really did it! You maniacs!”
The momentum FHIR has achieved since its birth in the early 2010s as an incipient standard has since reached a near global scale. While FHIR and the promise of health interoperability has always retained a persistent relevance, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the topic of health interoperability and by extension FHIR to the forefront of issues facing the public today. The COVID-19 pandemic uncovered long standing issues concerning health infrastructure, data exchange, public health disparities – to name but a few. While FHIR is by no means a panacea, its promise and potential are yet to be discovered in full. In answer to the question ‘why FHIR, why now?’ I respond: ‘If not now, when?’
Omar Hoblos: Optimizing SMART on FHIR Apps.
In the true spirit of FHIR, connect and collaborate with fellow attendees! They’ll turn out in the future to be colleagues, confidantes and friends.