Six partners live on Medtech’s interoperability platform
eHealthNews.nz editor Rebecca McBeth
Six partner companies are live and testing their applications with general practices, using Medtech’s new ALEX (Application Layer EXchange) platform.
ALEX uses Microsoft’s Azure FHIR software to enable secure integration into the Medtech32 and Medtech Evolution patient management systems.
The six partners that are currently piloting the platform are: ConnectMed (patient portal), Florence Digital (checkin kiosk), Jayex (checkin kiosk), Houston Intellimed (checkin kiosk), Webtools Health (patient engagement tools), and Heartbeat Health (patient record app).
The Heartbeat app provides patients with a summary of their health information and allows them to securely share that summary with third parties when they want to. Heartbeat was the first to go live and is currently in beta trials with health and life insurance companies. Webtools partnered with Heartbeat Health to bring the app to market.
“ALEX has really enabled us to create the patient driven consent and controls that we needed ,” says Heartbeat product owner and chief executive of WebTools Health Harry Hawke.
Geoff Sayer, managing director Medtech Global says, “our partners are starting to work out how they can use FHIR resources and they are doing it largely with little to no assistance from Medtech, which is a real benefit as it means we don’t stand in the way.”
Sayer is a big believer in electronic health summaries, but not in the centralised approach, whereby personal health records are centrally stored so they can be called upon when needed.
He says ALEX means third parties are only able to access information that is relevant to the use of their application, and it is event driven, so information is only pulled from systems when it is requested.
The summary of patient information available via ALEX is based on a version of the International Patient Summary that has been approved by the Australian and NZ Royal Colleges of GPs.
Sayer says an interoperable standards-based approach encourages innovation and allows Medtech to support more partners.
Practices have to individually consent both to the use of ALEX and then to any third-party applications that are using it to provide services.
“Many practices did not truly understand what they were signing on for with some of these historical third-party applications, so this is about informed consent,” he says.