UK experts call for open healthcare IT platform


UK experts call for open healthcare IT platform

The UK government should encourage its healthcare organisations to use open standards, open programming interfaces and open source components, healthcare IT experts say, in a report published on 31 October. They estimate that health and care systems implementing an open innovation platform could save more than 11% of Britain’s total national healthcare costs.

The report (PDF at outlines how to achieve an open approach to healthcare IT, and how to resolve the main technical, cultural, and regulatory barriers to innovation. The experts propose a reference architecture based on a set of open standards related to healthcare.

To prove the feasibility of their proposal, the experts point to successful, large-scale implementations of open healthcare systems such as the OpenEHR electronic health records system. OpenEHR, the experts say, “has already been adopted as the national standard for the representation of clinical content in Norway, India, Slovenia and Brazil and is used for standards development in Australia, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Philippines and Canada.”

There are a number of large-scale open platforms implementations supporting 12 million patients built in compliance with the HL7 FHIR, SNOMED CT, openEHR and IHE-XDS standards, delivering open platforms at scale across the globe. We should follow suit in the UK, building on the pioneering work of NHS Digital supported by Code4Health, Ripple Foundation and others using these standards.

"Change requires innovation and innovation does not come from the incumbent players. If we look to other sectors we can see that it was Amazon not Foyles, eBay not Exchange and Mart, Wikipedia not Encyclopedia Britannica that transformed their sectors through digital innovat

The Apperta Foundation is a not-for-profit community interest company supported by NHS

England and NHS Digital led by clinicians to promote open systems and standards for digital

health and social care.



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