Or How to Setup an API Framework for a Client that Serves a Million Users Monthly Without Disturbing Them
Our client serves a million customers monthly. Over the years they have worked with multiple vendors who have built apps on top of the legacy code system, which overtime has made it extremely complex and unstable. All the services in the client’s portfolio were developed by different vendors/teams who had various architectures and patterns. Every service had it’s own login and monitoring, plus they all were mutually dependant.
This year we decided that visiting partners and clients on the East Coast was not enough for us given all the activity springing up there, so after being contacted by the Personal Connected Health Alliance we are thrilled to come back to Washington D.C. this year – this time as a sponsor.
The Connected Health Conference offered us cutting edge sessions with innovative companies participating and attending and a truly proactive setting perfect for tackling a number of the industry’s complexities.
2016 has brought many challenges to the health industry. Difficulties with reimbursements and increases in medical costs has driven up the bottom line. Additionally, significant increases in funding of digital health startups over the past three years have brought an onslaught of companies disrupting segments of the payer business model. Fortunately, the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand is a household name that can carry member companies into Health 2.0.
Over the past 15 years we have been working in digital health, including with BCBSA member companies. Based on our observations here are the six areas BCBSA member companies will be focusing on in 2017:
Every new healthcare app or fledgling technology is like a sunny window into the future: Could virtual reality replace opioids for pain relief, as proposed by startup DeepStream VR? Might smart contact lenses, under development by Verily (aka Google) and Novartis, soon measure blood sugar levels in tears, eliminating painful finger pricks for people with diabetes?
This optimistic focus on innovation is what makes the upcoming Health 2.0 conference a driving force in an industry dogged by numerous problems—from a lack of care coordination and wasteful practices to a lack of IT interoperability and workforce shortages. Every year, the conference offers some of the tech industry’s best ideas for solving these problems—or making them disappear altogether.
Developers and coders are a hot commodity and the boom in start-ups around digital health combined with increased health IT spending is making qualified developers harder to find. It’s a classic example of supply not keeping pace with demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 1.4 million computer science jobs are expected by 2020, but only 400,000 new computer science graduates to meet the demand.
With the increase in mobile device applications and further implementation of electronic health records, privacy and security is a growing concern. Naturally, patients expect healthcare organizations to take the necessary steps to safeguard their personal information.
Through many years spent developing various applications, using various technologies and working with different clients, we have tried a number of diverse development methodologies and techniques, in search of the most optimal development process. But first, we had to define what optimal means for us.
Some would argue that the optimal process is the one that produces the required output (working functionality) the fastest. While that might be the case for small, simple projects, we find that on a large enterprise scale, the fastest output does not usually produce an optimal result.
In a recent project for one of our clients, we came across a need to gather data from multiple wellness devices. We were faced with a choice between creating a custom connector for each device’s API, or using a service that gathers data in one place.
One possible solution was Human API (http://www.humanapi.co/) who stated that they provide an easy way to get data from multiple health systems and wearable devices (like Fitbit, Misfit etc.). Another one we found interesting (especially for enterprise solutions) would be Validic (https://validic.com/). We will not refer to it in this article, but it may be a focus of a separate article in the future.
Ensuring that your electronic health record product meets tightening federal certification requirements is getting more challenging as officials scrutinize health IT products more closely for hot-topic issues such as patient privacy, health information exchange and general transparency about their real-world capabilities.
Over the past several weeks, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has been busy issuing proposed rules and publishing the names of non-complying vendors’ products. This flurry of activity has taken place in the several weeks leading up to ONC’s annual meeting in Washington DC.
A March 2nd proposal would give the ONC expanded authority to regulate health IT products under the certification program set up as part of the health IT incentive program known as HITECH. In response, a number of industry and health IT advocacy groups had responded that they were worried that the proposal was too far-reaching.
The healthcare delivery system is undergoing tremendous change because of pressures to increase access, reduce costs and improve outcomes. New and innovative approaches to how care is being delivered are emerging and the shift to population health, along with an emphasis in engaging patients in self-management activities, are all contributing to the transformation of healthcare in the United States.