8 Jul, 2022 | 3 min read

How APIs Help Healthcare Companies to Innovate Fast

  • Shehan Dias
  • Senior Marketing Officer - Content - WSO2

Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash

Healthcare, like other industries, has moved towards digitalization over the past few years as it continues to embrace technology. As a result, healthcare data, already a prized source of information, is in the spotlight. RBC Capital Market projects that, “by 2025, the compound annual growth rate of data for healthcare will reach 36%.” This is higher than manufacturing, media and entertainment, and financial services. 

For key players in the healthcare ecosystem, creating a culture of innovation to embrace healthcare data via APIs becomes almost as important as treating patients. Vice President - Solutions Architecture and Head of Healthcare Practice at WSO2, Mifan Careem, spoke on the Med Tech Gurus podcast about the best practices of creating an innovation culture and outlined the latest challenges in healthcare.

Best Practices: Culture of Innovation

One important factor was being bold and making the initial step to make a change. Sometimes, asking for permission for everything isn’t important, but what matters more is taking risks in the pursuit of creating a better outcome, regardless of whether that attempt is a success or failure. He adds it's important for organizations to give freedom to their employees to get involved and provide training, encourage and reward creativity, and have a “fail fast and fix fast” philosophy.

In practice, organizations may need teams to focus on evangelizing the benefits of adoption that focus on developing training materials, workshops, lunch and learns, and open forums to address concerns and show how technology is making a difference, in order to lay the groundwork for an innovative culture. Furthermore, it is important to get the whole organization onboard towards recognizing the initiatives that are taking place. This includes, but is not limited to, implementing good onboarding programs, organizing adoption and evangelism workshops, and recognizing individuals who work in the space.

Current Challenges in Healthcare and the Importance of Consent at a Granular Level

Despite advances in legislation and technology, healthcare organizations still have data in silos. According to an HIMSS study, an average hospital has 16 different EMR vendors. However, a move towards interoperability with standardized formats like fast healthcare interoperability resources (FHIR) is a potential solution. Consent must become more fine-grained. For example, a patient should be able to consent to giving their name, date of birth, and information on their diabetes condition via a hospital to a particular physician for a month. Patients must be empowered to provide useful information that will improve their condition and avoid providing data which can affect their privacy/security such as their social security number. 

To access the full podcast, please click here.