In the healthcare space, there are companies that function as intermediaries that forward claims information from healthcare providers to insurance payers, also known as clearinghouses.
Likewise, if we want to exchange messages between two distributed software components, we need a mediator. This mediator is known as the message broker. It receives incoming messages from a sender and sends them to a receiver. This way the sender and receiver can be totally decoupled.
A message broker acts as an intermediary platform in communication between two applications.
It provides a way for exchanging messages from sending to receiving points. Messaging enables distributed communication that is loosely coupled. A message is sent to a destination by a sender and can be retrieved from the destination by the receiver. The sender and the receiver don’t have to be available at the same time in order to communicate. A good example of messaging from the real world, that enables communication between people, is email.
There are many use cases where the message broker is a good fit for a system, including currently popular topics in IT – Internet of Things and Microservices. Therefore, the usage of a message broker can also be beneficial in the healthcare industry. Microservice architecture is used more often in healthcare ecosystems, as healthcare applications are becoming more and more complex. Also, healthcare is one of the application domains where IoT is of enormous interest. When connected to the internet, ordinary medical devices can collect invaluable additional data, give extra insight into symptoms and trends, enable remote care, and generally give patients more control over their lives and treatment.
Today we have around 22 billion smart devices connected to the internet. Considering the fact that about 7.7 billion people live on our planet, it means that we have almost 3 smart devices per person. This number is getting bigger every day and will increase significantly in the years to come.
The growing amount of equipment connected to the internet has led to a new term, Internet of Things (IoT). Simply put, IoT is a set of devices that are able to interact with each other. With the development of new IoT devices, like smart houses and other automatic systems, our everyday life becomes more and more digitized. This way of technological development has brought many advantages, but also some challenges, like the problem of successful data exchange.
Message broker is not a new concept, but it is gaining in popularity quickly. It can be used in many systems to improve communication between services. Two interesting examples where messaging is a good fit are Internet of Things and Microservices. We’ve seen that message broker can introduce many benefits. It offers bidirectional communication. Performances are better compared to HTTP/REST. It’s easier to scale up the system or to recover from failure. It adds a layer of abstraction between services and allows for fully asynchronous communications, and so on.
Message broker systems are also becoming more common in healthcare applications, as they are introduced with Microservices and IoT. As the current trend of data growth continues, message broker solutions will be used more often in the future.
Continue reading about the Benefits of message broker in IoT systems and the Benefits of introducing message broker in microservices (Scalable microservice connectivity / Recovery from error / System scalability / Message filtering and routing) in our latest white paper: