Digital health applications have forever changed the healthcare industry. They’re allowing consumers to make more informed decisions, powering providers with a more comprehensive view of their patient’s health, and are overall making the healthcare industry more proactive than reactive.
The term digital health encompasses a wide range of technology and includes wearable devices, mobile health, telehealth, health information technology, and telemedicine. While digital health applications have been around for more than a decade, the Covid-19 pandemic caused a massive disruption to the healthcare industry and pushed the sector to invest more in innovative digital technologies. Today, more than 350,000 healthcare applications are available globally that power a diverse range of use cases. In addition to empowering patients and physicians with real-time information, they’re also being used to develop or study medical products and accurately diagnose and treat chronic conditions.
The rise of digital health and the number of applications available is making data sharing more important than ever before. The data that these devices collect can be extremely valuable, and it’s critical that providers have quick and easy access to it when making their treatment decisions.
This is where Health Gorilla comes into play. Health Gorilla is a national health Information Network that aggregates each patient’s clinical history in one place and enables the entire healthcare ecosystem to seamlessly exchange health data. We understood early on that overcoming data fragmentation was key to unlocking the value in healthcare and developed clinical APIs that support a diverse range of digital health use cases and power national interoperability. Our ability to accelerate the development of applications and reduce technical and implementation barriers that product teams encounter have made Health Gorilla one of the most popular and reliable Health Information Networks in the United States and Latin America.
Below, we discuss how we solve common interoperability challenges, go over how our products support the development of digital health applications, and detail how becoming a Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) will expand our ability to do so.
While digital health technology has made significant strides over the last few years, the healthcare development community still faces various challenges when creating interoperable applications that reliably collect and exchange data.
1. Accurately Identifying Patients - Patients living in the same area with the same name or birthday can make it difficult for providers to match the appropriate person with their health records.
Solution: Our processing engine matches, normalizes, de-duplicates, and consolidates patient records to ensure we attach aggregated medical records to the appropriate person. By pairing our processing engine with our Master Patient Index and robust Record Locator Services, we are able to ensure that clinical records are attributed to the right person.
2. Ensuring Patient Privacy - A lack of defined principles, terms, data governance, and security requirements has led to many patient privacy concerns.
Solution: Our Health Information Network combats these concerns by meeting the highest certification standards for data security, privacy, and integrity. We are SOC-2 Type 2 certified, HIPAA-certified, independently audited on a routine basis, and are currently pursuing a HITRUST certification.
3. Aggregating Data from Multiple Sources - Integrating data into a digital health application can be complex, with data from EHRs, labs, insurance carriers, pharmacies, and other systems being siloed and challenging to access.
Solution: Our Health Information Network includes more than 70,000 connected care sites, 600,000 providers and can access more than two hundred million patients. Our network, paired with connections to the other primary HINs, 90% of the Acute EMRs, and 70% of the ambulatory EMRs, allow us to cover more than 90% of the United States. Access to our solutions allows developers to bypass individual connections and feel confident that they have access to high-quality aggregated data.
4. Change is a Heavy Technical Burden - Building even elementary bidirectional data exchange is difficult, requiring engineering resources and taking a long time.
Solutions: Our FHIR-based APIs, and off-the-shelf applications, allow teams to streamline their development process and avoid costly one-off integrations with national and regional EHRs, which can take six months of engineering time.
Our team at Health Gorilla offers a suite of solutions for digital health developers and arm them with the data they need to create actionable platforms. In addition to the services and clinical APIs highlighted above, we also offer products that support alternative use-cases like applying natural language processing (NLP) to unstructured clinical documents, direct messaging into EMRs, integrating our national provider identifier (NPI) database, and enabling eFax. Below are a few of our core products specifically designed to streamline the development of digital health products and reduce the complexities around data exchange.
FHIR-Native Data Platform: Health Gorilla's FHIR-native data platform consolidates heterogeneous data into an actionable format, offers top-of-the-line security protocols, and allows teams to quickly deploy and scale their healthcare products. In addition, we offer a very comprehensive developer guide and GitHub repository to help guide organizations through the development and deployment process.
Patient360: Patient360 enables developers to retrieve medical records for clinical treatment purposes from data exchange networks like CommonWell, CareQuality, and eHealth Exchange. Patient360 is available as a web-based application or through our FHIR-based APIs and supports a diverse set of digital health use cases, including telemedicine, disease management, and remote care management.
Lab Network: Our APIs centralize diagnostic ordering with most major labs and allow connected providers to order diagnostic tests from any connected lab in our network. We also offer a Diagnostic Network iframe which enables developers to embed our lab ordering portal user interface (UI) into their own products, allowing users to submit lab orders and receive results through Health Gorilla without leaving their product's UI.
Early next year, when the final Trusted Exchange Framework is released, Health Gorilla will be applying to become one of the first designated Qualified Health Information Networks under TEFCA.
As a designated QHIN, we will continue to offer our well-known interoperability solutions but also have the opportunity to expand our services. Once designated, we will be able to facilitate data exchanges for a variety of new purposes, allowing us to offer our services to a larger pool of the digital health community and increasing the ways that current clients can leverage our solutions.
We will offer high-capacity networks to broker the exchange of transactions, a flexible platform that supports a broad range of standards, including FHIR, HL7, C-CDA, and IHE Profiles, and a comprehensive master patient index (MPI) and record locator services (RLS).
The designation will increase our ability to facilitate access to health data across the country and allow us to deliver additional efficiencies and value to our Participants, Subparticipants, and digital health clients. By ensuring interoperability between the networks we represent and minimizing one-off connections, we will be able to simplify data exchanges for our network.
If you are part of a digital health organization and interested in expanding the data available to physicians or patients attached to your application, the Health Gorilla team is here to help. We offer a comprehensive implementation plan which includes a dedicated implementation specialist and solutions architect who will work with you to configure the connection between our suite of APIs and your application. We tailor our implementation to your organization's unique clinical data workflows and provide access to the Health Gorilla development sandbox. Our team of experts is available to answer any questions that come up through the testing and validation period. If you have any additional questions or are interested in exploring a partnership with Health Gorilla, please contact us.