How SMART on FHIR Improving the Healthcare World

How SMART on FHIR Improving the Healthcare World


One of the most probable questions comes in mind of the reader after learning about what is FHIR and what is SMART on FHIR?

Top health systems know that flawless omnichannel client engagement( a “ digital forward door ”) is essential in order to deliver the substantiated, value- grounded healthcare moment’s consumers expect. In practice, still, applying this digital frontal door strategy is challenging for top healthcare systems, due to the fractured nature of healthcare information.

The SMART platform is here to solve the problem of scattered patient data. It makes sure data is accessed and shared in a consistent way. Plus, thanks to the 21st Century Cures Act, SMART is becoming the standard way to access electronic health records (EHRs).

Below, we explain what SMART means for the healthcare ecosystem and how it’ll ameliorate both health data interoperability and the value of healthcare technology trends as a whole.

What’s SMART on FHIR and how can it help?

Imagine SMART on FHIR as a handy tool for healthcare apps. It helps these apps talk to each other and work together, making healthcare better.

Here’s How It Helps:

Easy Sharing: SMART on FHIR makes it simple for healthcare apps to share information. That means your doctors can see your medical stuff easily.

Keeps Data Safe: It’s like a lock for patient medical info. SMART on FHIR follows all the rules to protect patient/provider privacy.

One Password: With SMART on FHIR, you only need one password. No need to remember lots of them when you use different healthcare apps.

Apps Working Together: It lets healthcare apps join forces with main medical records. That way, doctors can use special tools while looking at their regular medical stuff.

Saves Time: SMART on FHIR makes everything quicker and smoother. Doctors can find the info they need faster, which means better care for patients.

So, SMART on FHIR is like a helper for healthcare apps, making everything work together for your benefit.

SMART Focuses on Three Key Areas

  1. It guides the client to have a review of them and to negotiate the access of data in the EHR. This leverages the OAuth2 standard.
  2. It provides guidelines as to how the information will be exchanged, and how a person can access it. This can be done with the help of FHIR REST API as the query mechanism and FHIR Resources for the content.
  3. Providing a medium to launch an external app through EMR.

Future Growth of SMART

SMART (like FHIR) is an evolving standard, and so is likely to change and extend as it is implemented internationally. The areas where we are likely to see evolution are:

Becoming the ‘de facto’ security standard for FHIR interfaces. FHIR itself doesn’t prescribe a security mechanism, leaving that to the implementer. Given SMART’s use of widely accepted standards, it is likely that it will become the ‘normal’ security mechanism

Supporting different profiles. As described in this paper, SMART is already moving in the direction of allowing the client to describe the profiles it supports.

CDS Hooks – an exciting new development that seeks to standardize how an EHR can invoke Decision Support capability in the course of its usual operation. This standard – if it becomes widely adopted – could make it easier for a provider of Decision Support services to be utilized by different EMR EHR systems – another important aspect of exposing advice generated as part of the Precision Medicine initiative.

SMART on FHIR is a Must For Healthcare Providers

Given the benefits, as well as its addition in the Cures Act, espousing SMART is virtually a necessity for any health system. For this reason, major EHR players like Epic, Cerner, and Allscripts are formerly using SMART.

Still, there are only 58 apps listed on SMART’s App Gallery as of the jotting of this composition, meaning many companies have incorporated the standard into their tech at this time. As a result, SMART relinquishment could be a deal advantage for some tech companies.

Outside of authorizations, early relinquishment of SMART could also help healthcare technology companies insure their operations come more extensively espoused in the long run. Learn additional about operating SMART on FHIR’s platform, tools, and API then.

SMART renders hands to all manner of healthcare tasks. Following it is discussed about how SMART provides support to various healthcare tasks:

  • Healthcare Application Development: It supports the app development team by laying down them free open-source resources and tools for the effortless generation of applications. It helps in the smooth alliance of EHR and FHIR at the least cost.
  • Healthcare Professionals and Patients: SMART assists in the development of apps that favors the uninterrupted and quick flow of communication between healthcare professionals and patients. This ultimately improves the patient’s satisfaction.
  • Healthcare systems: SMART offers healthcare institutions to have an edge over their competitors through innovative app development and helps them in improving and expand their existing systems. This comforts for a better return on investment.
  • Public Health: It supports the development of an application that is related to public health which reaches the audience at large. Distinct directives can be propagated based on derived decisions without changing the EHR, especially during any outbreak incidents or in announcing guideline changes.

Top SMART on FHIR Apps

Below is the best SMART on FHIR apps:

  1. EnrG | Rheum
  2. Growth Chart
  3. Duke PillBox
  4. Cardiac Risk
  5. BP Centiles

Developing SMART on FHIR Apps

An application that uses SMART on FHIR in its development holds a lot of advantages. But to avail such advantages you need to overcome certain challenges.

First, this technology is still in its development phase, it has not emerged fully. You won’t find much data on the internet regarding this. There will be times when you will stick to something and it will take a lot more searching to find someone with the same problem as you. If you ever find that someone often you will be left to figure it out on your own.

Although FHIR pinpoints consistency, it doesn’t give guarantees about what information will be presented. Most values you receive from FHIR will be optional because some patients won’t have a value provided for them.

The world of medical data is vast, and it’s not FHIR’s fault that we try to standardize the medical data. At times you may find its development perplexing and the development of code chaotic.

Launching an app

SMART offers two methods for launching an app – the EHR launch and the Standalone launch. The EHR launch ensures a seamless transition from the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system to the SMART app, preserving the current context.

EHR Launch Process:

User Action: The user initiates the launch by clicking on a link within the EHR User Interface.

Context Storage: The EHR system stores the current context and generates a “launch token” referring to it. Alternatively, the EHR software can embed the context within the token after encrypting and signing it.

App Authentication: The app undergoes authentication as previously described.

Using the Launch Token: After authentication, the app includes the launch token with each request to the Resource Server. The Resource Server leverages this token to retrieve the context associated with the call, either by using it as a key for internal storage or by decrypting it, depending on its initial creation.

Keep in mind that the specifics of server-side implementation can vary across systems, but as long as the client-server interface is maintained, it won’t affect the client.

Word of Advice for Developers:

Here are a few tips if you’re initiating with SMART on FHIR development:

  • Your developed application will be launched inside another application. It will be advisable for you to not open external links because they may not behave the way you expect them to.
  • The record you may have created one day may disappear the next day because the records in the SMART Sandbox are reset within a night.
  • You can have control over the timing of resetting data by installing self- hosted sandbox. This tool can prove to be highly useful.
  • SMART context gives access to a lot of information. So make sure that you limit your requests so that you can ask for more at necessary times.

How SMART Improves Healthcare Interoperability and Delivery

Think of SMART like a universal plug that makes different devices work together in your home. SMART does the same for healthcare to make things better.

Here’s How It Works:

Currently, leading EHR systems employ proprietary interfaces (similar to customized electrical plugs). Tech companies must develop individualized adapters for each EHR system, incurring significant expenses. This approach poses challenges for both healthcare providers and patients, limiting their ability to adopt preferred technologies.

In contrast, SMART offers a universal, standardized interface that seamlessly integrates with any EHR system implementing SMART. This enables enhanced interoperability within healthcare technology, empowering health systems and patients to select technologies that align with their preferences

In simple words, SMART is like the universal plug for healthcare. It connects everything so that healthcare technology can work together smoothly for everyone’s benefit.

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How Advanced Interoperability Improves The Value of Healthcare Technology

Interoperability is vital for healthcare tech companies, ensuring their innovations can be widely adopted and developed. SMART simplifies the process, allowing companies to improve their products without complicating how users access their data. This boosts innovation, benefiting the entire industry and consumers.

SMART also streamlines mobile app development. Developers no longer need custom connections for EHR databases; SMART makes apps compatible with a wider audience of healthcare organizations and consumers.

Ready to Improve Your Healthcare Tech? Embrace SMART’s Benefits Today with Team DS4Y by your side.

Sanjeev Agrawal

Sanjeev Agrawal

My name is Sanjeev Agrawal. I am a Director and Co-founder of Dreamsoft4u, IT Consulting Company. I am having a keen interest in the latest trends and technologies that are emerging in different domains. Being an entrepreneur in the field of the IT sector, it becomes my responsibility to aid my audience with the knowledge of the latest trends in the market.