Healthcare is a growing sector, so the diseases are growing with the decades.
The pandemic time, and viruses like covid-19 make very frequent changes in healthcare. The world following social distances has developed many applications; dealing with healthcare on the online platform.
The health tech specialist using the application programming interface (API) formulates many applications that will help the patients very lavishly. Telemedicine application has made the lives of the patient very easy in terms of consulting the doctor, calling the doctor, and needing help 24/7.
What value do APIs put in the healthcare system?
APIs make the process of the healthcare system very efficient and quick. It will help to work more effectively with proper records and data management. If we remember the traditional healthcare system; doctors use paper and pen to write and store the data in notebooks.
In that manner if hospitals run for 10 years only, then maintaining the patient’s data becomes a very tough task. And in other cases in the private hospital, APIs are created; that can manage the data of each patient personally, and even after years, the data in-person can be fetched very easily.
In healthcare, APIs can lead to the use of the applications in every device like mobile, laptops, tablets, anywhere, while streamlining the APIs with good value added to it, but the one mandatory thing necessary is the successful approach towards it, because healthcare is a dynamic field.
Readers must have a question in their mind: How do APIs work! What changes does it really make?
What are APIs?
Application programming interface (API) deals with the communications between diverse sources of information. Basically, it is the set of standards that does the task. Well everyone has used APIs whether it is open API or close API.
Open APIs, for example, everyone has used google maps that is open source, and the close APIs used in the hospitals are the private APIs that work domestically in the smaller catchment areas.
Open APIs are open-source in programming software, use the public interface, so that everyone can use it very frequently, the security and authentication are full-fledged with the public domain also.
For instance, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram all have public APIs that evoke and store the data, also the APIs allow access to the technology so that others can use it for the betterment.
List of APIs used in healthcare:
- Apple health records APIs
Health records in the apple system are end-end encrypted, and it passes the data from one single apple network. It is protected with the passcode, face ID, or Fingerprint.
- Human APIs
Human clinical APIs, connecting the labs, and pharmacies through EHRs. There is a patient portal who saves data of every patient which reaches to the 264million patients use. The wearables are also extracting the day-day info of the patients.
- Practical health APIs
Practical health API, offers to labs and pharmacies and attracts upto 300 million patients for access through one entry point and with the EHRs.
- Google cloud healthcare APIs
Google cloud healthcare API, neutralizes itself with all sets of standards which includes:
- It imports the data from various sources and from the wearables.
- It transforms the data into FHIR format.
- It helps in removing PHI
- It stores, analyzes, and manages data in DICOM (digital imaging and communication in medicine) format.
- It helps in consolidation of files in one single format.
- Amazon comprehend medical APIs
It connects directly to the NLP engine that directly extracts the datafiles and various types of clinical documents.like doctor’s notes, EHRs of patients, these components are connected from the medical coding systems and products.
What are the benefits of APIs?
APIs can enable the use in healthcare in every possible niche, it has the true potential to collaborate with the larger scale. Hospitals from all over the world can merge and make new innovations for healthcare. The integrability and scalability of the APIs helps for better management.
The APIs can generate and capitalize the use of visualization, EHR, EMRs etc. Following are some other advantages.
As we discussed previously, it enriches the connectivity through the programming portal and ‘N’ number of sources are available through the wearables, smartwatch, tablets which are connected through IoT ( Internet of things).
APIs expand innovation in the outer world also and not only in the internal chain of the hospital. At present it is providing the hand-holding in the field of technology; that it gives access to the data in the EHRs system. So, that the third party can access and tailored the data for the fulfillment of certain specific needs.
EHRs can be used for user-specific purposes, (ie: one can modify it at the user end and the supplier end also) so as the doctors and healthcare providers do.
APIs can be used in multiple ways if someone is user-specific and wants to use this for making applications, irrespective of anything it will use for entertainment, healthcare, banking, accounting etc.
In the healthcare niche, one can make various applications that enable the following use:
- Making an application that can check the sugar level of the patient directly and save it in the system.
- By providing instant care to the patients, who are facing skin disorders.
- Aiming for the visual voice tracking for the disabled.
- Provides balanced care with the help of audio and video control to pregnant women.
Along with the many benefits to the innovation of APIs, there are some cons too. Let’s discuss that,
What are the challenges with APIs?
In developing the technology, capital is needed for the advancements and for the fulfillment of the requirements with the APIs, earlier the innovations were incentivized by the UK government by providing the laptops and connectivity. It was given with the promise of increasing the outcome in the healthcare sector in an efficient way.
- Security and Authentication:
In developing the merging technologies, the tension of snapping the data arose a major issue, although the 2-3 step verification helps against any suspicious activities. There are standardized formats to authenticate access to the server. Although the risk is associated with that.
Standardization of the applications with APIs should be cost-effective so that the person who is initiating the start-up can approach it easily. Consistency is needed in the standardization process.
- Culture and workflow:
By using the APIs, ensuring the stakeholders to use the APIs in the healthcare like,
Payers, providers and pharma on one side and on the other, clinicians, care coordinators, administrators and developers. After having trial and error,ensuring the adoption of the APIs in the healthcare sector.
How can an API be used for healthcare business?
For business in today’s world, the IT sector is developing more with the APIs , they start up with the public and private APIs both. They find that it is the new way to connect with the world by mobile,laptops,and social platforms.
IT professionals and healthcare providers are starting to engage in the advancements through EHRs, EMRs and other technologies and intelligence. As the use of APIs increases more and more, the use of critically innovative advancement will start.
The challenges healthcare professionals are facing is in the process of authentication and legacy systems, the crucial part is the financial part which people are streamlining with the help of insurance companies and banks.
Another difficulties that professionals are facing is in the strategies of the APIs, that is: lacking in the designing tools, lack of effective tools and lack of versions. To overcome this, you might start with the analysis first; and the designing strategy currently going on, in the market.
The innovations in the healthcare system, the ecosystem of the technology are providing collaborations with the public and the developers., and as we discussed it is using the open APIs for the public domain that can empower the developers and traditional healthcare system. Healthcare providers and the top companies providing a healthcare mobile app development approach towards the motivation and developments in the field of healthcare.