Patient Generated Health Data on FHIR – New Continua Design Guidelines to be Presented at HIMSS18

Feb 13, 2018

Interview with Michael J. Kirwan, Vice President of Continua at Personal Connected Health Alliance

What are you speaking about at the Interoperability Showcase at HIMSS18?

I'm always pleased to talk about the evolution of the Design Guidelines, and how Continua further advances PCHAlliance's mission -- to help people make health and wellness an effortless part of daily life. I will be giving two presentations at HIMSS18:

·        On Tuesday, March 6 (12:30 - 1:30pm), I'll be talking about how PCHAlliance’s Continua Design Guidelines ensure a direct path into an electronic health record (EHR) for IoT

·        On Tuesday, March 6 (3:30 - 4:30pm), I'll be part of a discussion: Taking Interoperability to the Next Level: How ConCert and Continua Testing and Certification Programs Work

What is the significance of using the FHIR API to move data from personal health devices to the EMR?

This latest version of the Continua Design Guidelines is built on HL7 FHIR, enabling the secure, private, reliable and accurate sharing of patient generated health data (PGHD) with healthcare providers. The Design Guidelines now support the integration of personal health data from vital signs sensors and health, medical and fitness devices for telehealth and telemonitoring of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart failure, hypertension and COPD, as well as health and fitness measures.

FHIR has the Mindshare, the code is available (a library of code is available), it's easy to implement and free!

What technical obstacles did Continua have to overcome to make this possible?

Other methods of transporting data weren’t sufficient for potential adopters. It was also very expensive and it took too long.  Technically, for Remote Patient Monitoring and Patient Generated Health Data, Continua looked to HL7 to help define how FHIR should work for outside of the clinical setting for remote patient monitoring and the integration of PGHD in EMR. The latest Continua Design Guidelines reflect state of the art practices in health IT, privacy, security, reliability and accuracy of Continua certified products.

Who has adopted these new guidelines using FHIR and who else do you anticipate will adopt?

We see that many countries are already adopting the Design Guidelines. Just within the last week TicSalut in Catalonia and VITIR from Norway noted that they would be implementing the Continua Design Guidelines as part of their national health programs. I feel many government agencies will follow this lead. And Roche, IBM, Philips, LNI, UHN and many more companies already have Continua FHIR Observation Upload servers up and running. Key is observation upload, which is the Continua piece.

What is next in the pipeline for the Continua Design Guidelines?

We're continuing to work to make interoperability for personal health monitoring effortless and reliable, in support of the Internet of healthy things. Some of the projects we have ongoing include:

•       FHIR Retrieval API

•       Continua FHIR profiles for Patient Reported Outcomes Measures

•       Direct to Cloud Use Case