There must be a hundred thousand health and fitness apps in the iTunes app store, running from ‘A+ Baby Monitor’ to ‘Zen Zone Acupuncture & Spa’. Most of these aren’t nearly as ‘medical’ as the 35 apps running in the SMART on FHIR app store, an R&D initiative by Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
FHIR is an enabler of real medical apps, where patients/consumers communicate with their doctors and vice versa, exchanging medical data with the electronic medical record held within the hospital. Who would not want that?
So, I wondered, will there soon be a category ‘approved medical apps’ in the iTunes or Google Play app store? Or will these app stores be the domain of the EHR vendors? Or of the individual hospitals? And how many apps will there be? How will this work out commercially?
Who else to ask but Josh Mandel, project lead for SMART on FHIR and member of the FHIR core team? Watch Josh explaining SMART on FHIR in the FHIR Interview I had last week at the HL7 Working Group meeting in Orlando: