The HL7® FHIR® Connectathon at HL7's 31st Annual Plenary & Working Group Meeting
I don’t know what you were doing on Saturday, September 9, but I was in a San Diego hotel ballroom watching a little history being made.
HL7 held the 16th FHIR Connectathon on September 9 & 10 and it was another great success. Over 200 people happily gathered together at 9:00 am (with lots of coffee) to work in the 19 tracks developing FHIR solutions.
Clinical Research Track
The Clinical Research track, co-sponsored by TransCelerate, filled three large tables. This was a huge jump in participation. We had seven participants at the January Connectathon in San Antonio and two at the May Connectathon in Madrid.
Read more about how TransCelerate BioPharma Inc. generated use cases for the Clinical Research track and supported the event here.
We worked on three uses cases during the day and a half session. Uses cases 1 and 2 were continuations of previous Connectathons: we used EHR data for protocol feasibility and clinical trial recruitment in use case 1 and extracted EHR data for use in a clinical database in use case 2. While we will continue to work on these uses cases in future connectathons, it was use case 3 which caused the most excitement.
As Don Jennings from Eli Lilly presented the work completed during the Sunday wrap-up session, I heard someone from the FHIR community ask one of his tablemates, “Who are these guys?” Because you see, before going into the details with use case 3, Don asked the FHIR community to help the clinical research community develop FHIR-centered solutions. Clinical research is fairly new to FHIR; we need to collaborate with people who have been working with FHIR for a while to help us find the best treatments for our patients. And by “our patients”, I mean patients who participate in clinical research and in healthcare…so truly, OUR patients.
Patient Event Subscribe Publisher (PESP) App
Our use case 3 was really quite simple, yet so very complex: create an app which records all of the visits or encounters a patient has during the course of study and have the data sent back to the investigator so the encounters and the reasons for the encounters can be tracked. This would not only benefit the investigator and the clinical study, it would ultimately benefit the patient by having all of the patient’s information available at any given time.
The team called this app the Patient Event Subscribe Publisher (PESP). The patients and institutions register with the PESP, and the study investigator subscribes to pull the encounter data automatically from the PESP.
Sounds pretty easy, right?
There are a few little challenges that need to be addressed: a single patient ID is needed; a common set of encounter types are needed; and the PESP needs to be built so that it can be used in both clinical research and standard of care.
An Invitation to Join Us
The clinical research community plans to continue working on all three use cases in future connectathons. Please join us if you have any bright ideas to help us. Watch for details here. That’s what the connectathons are all about…connecting ideas to create solutions for everyone.