Delving into SMART

While FHIR is not a security standard ‘per se’, there are numerous references in the spec to security related matters – including a specific module in the specification. One of the recommendations made is about SMART – a defined way to use the OAuth2 Authorization framework in FHIR. I recently gave a webinar on SMART, and part of the feedback was that it wasn’t enough detail for a developer to implement a solution – while this wasn’t really the focus of the presentation, it did make me realize that there will be a lot of interest in this from developers, so thought it might be useful to develop a SMART application – and call out the significant parts as we go.

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What’s an API?

I was asked recently by a clinical colleague what an API is, and why it’s important.

Let’s start with the technical answer. ‘API’ stands for ‘Application Programming Interface’ – it’s a way that one application (or a component of an application) exposes its services (which could be just data, or some operation against data) in a way that allows another application (often called the client) to use it. By using an API, it’s possible to develop re-usable libraries – components that can be used by other applications to develop functionality.

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Boston DevDays 2018

In June this year, there will be the first FHIR DevDays in the United States – in Boston.

For those unfamiliar with DevDays (Developer Days), this is a 3 day event simply crammed with FHIR activities – from educational presentations to ‘Connectathon’ type testing to just enjoying the community (and maybe a beer or two…) .

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Creating a resources model

This is the third post in a mini series on using the Logical modeler. In the first post we talked in generalities of models (admitting that this is very much a work in progress), and then we discussed the Information Model – a model that is used to capture clinical requirements for information exchange. Now, it’s time to think about how we can design real FHIR artifacts from the work so far.

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Building an Information model.

As described in the previous post, an Information model is used to capture the data requirements for a use case in a structured way, using the FHIR datatypes, but not aligned with the core FHIR resource types. This means that you can’t create an instance of this model – it’s just for analysis – but it will inform the development of the real FHIR artifacts.

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Creating models with the Logical Modeler

It’s been a while since we talked about the clinFHIR Logical Modeler, and I’ve had a few questions about it, so I thought an update might be in order.

The term ‘Logical Model’ can be used in different ways (much like ‘Profile’) so let’s first define just what we are talking about. Basically, it’s just a hierarchical model of data – much like you see in any of the core FHIR resource types – with the exception that the model does not have to align with any of the core types. Other than the requirement that you must use the FHIR datatypes, there are no limits on the complexity of the model you create (though overly complex models can be hard to understand – or use).

In this post we’ll talk about the general aspects of using the modeler – subsequent posts will go into more detail about how to build them.

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Clinicians on FHIR

Last week we held our first New Zealand ‘Clinicians on FHIR‘ seminar at the HINZ conference in Rotorua. This was really important for me, as it was the first ‘public outing’ of a seminar format that I’d like to see could be repeated wherever Clinicians are getting their first taste of FHIR, and showing how they can participate more fully in FHIR based Interoperability projects.

We had around 30 attendees and excellent participation – especially as the event was a combination of presentations and practical exercises. Thanks to John Fountain for presenting the clinical perspective. Talking to participants after the event was also very positive, with some good suggestions for improvement of the seminar.

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