FHIR Prototyping with Node-RED – part 1

As FHIR continues to mature, one of the things we’re seeing is a move away from ‘simple’ data representation Implementation Guides to more complex ones that describe a workflow of some sort. Compare, for example the Argonaut data query Implementation Guide with the Argonaut scheduling guide currently in development. The scheduling guide has got a lot of workflow components to it.

As you will know, a large part of the FHIR ethos is the practical testing of these guides before they are finalized to ensure that they are fit for purpose – often at a Connectathon. But to implement guides like this often requires a significant amount of coding – especially for the server. Is there a simpler way that these guides can be tested?

In this post, I’ll talk about one possibility – using the Node-RED application to develop a prototype server which can quickly be altered as testing occurs.

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An update to the SMART client

Just a quick note the say that I’ve made a couple of changes to the SMART client we discussed in a previous post.

There’s now an option to start the login process in a separate tab. This is needed because a number of sites I’ve been testing won’t let the login page open in an iFrame (it’s a security thing). When you configure the server, select the ‘separate tab’ option under ‘Where to open Browser’ at the bottom of the first page. Read more of this post

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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