Article Highlights:

  • Current application programming interfaces (APIs) need increased standardization and tools to expand use in research and data extraction, according to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) Researcher Perspectives on APIs report. Specifically, ONC said there needs to be more standardization and improved tools for configuring, extracting, and mapping data across separate healthcare organizations. Researchers also need to be more aware of and educated about Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and FHIR Bulk Data Access APIs to utilize full API potential, ONC recommended.
  • In order to meet some of these requirements, ONC said it is focused on accelerating a standardized API ecosystem. To put its finger on the pulse of the API ecosystem, ONC polled nine healthcare organizations involved in biomedical, clinical, informatics, and pharmacological research. Surveyed stakeholders recommended an increase in standardization and improved mapping, configuration, and extract, transform, and load (ETL) tools for research data across separate healthcare organizations. Next, the respondents said they want to leverage standardized APIs for clinical and biomedical informatics research, especially for larger-scale studies. The stakeholders also recommended an increase in FHIR and FHIR Bulk Data Access API education for researchers to leverage increased API use for research. The stakeholders also recommended accelerated examples of FHIR Bulk Data Access API for research, although the development efforts show potential. However, the respondents expressed concern over privacy and security measures to increase API and app adoption in healthcare.

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