Setting the Stage: Integration Infrastructure

by | Mar 10, 2021

Join Brian and John as they discuss Brian’s latest research on Integration Infrastructure in healthcare, particularly its role in enabling health information technologies. This framing is an evolution of our long-running coverage of what used to be referred to as health information exchange (HIE) technologies. The research adds to our reimagined coverage of health data liquidity across multiple discrete – sometimes overlapping – aspects of modern interoperability in healthcare. The first report was our Open APIs in Healthcare research from mid-2020, and the next will look at the market for data aggregators (coming Q3). Be sure to reach out if you have any questions!

John Moore III: [00:00:00] Hi again, welcome back to the Chilmark Research Channel. My name is John Moore III. I will be your host today. I’m the vice president of growth strategy here. And I’m joined today by our head analyst covering interoperability and analytics, Brian Murphy.

Brian Murphy: [00:00:14] Hello, John. Thank you very much for having me.

John Moore III: [00:00:17] Before we jump into things, though, please be sure to subscribe to our channel and click the bell button so that you receive notifications whenever we post new content. And if you like what you see here today, be sure to leave a like and leave a comment. If you want to reach out to anyone on our team, someone will follow up with you shortly.

So to get us started today, Brian, why don’t you tell me a little bit more about the research you’ve been recently conducting on integration infrastructure and what that actually means.

Brian Murphy: [00:00:47] So this report picks up to a very large extent on the coverage of the health information exchange market, which people who know us are aware that doing that for 10 plus years. In those days, in those HIE  days, there was a pretty significant emphasis on kind of hardcoded integrations and sidecar applications. The world has changed. And this report really kind of dribbles into some of the approaches that are available in the market to improve on to rectify some of the shortcomings, shall we say, of past approaches.

John Moore III: [00:01:26] So you mentioned that there are these modern approaches to integration of different health systems together. So could you elaborate a little bit more about what some of these new approaches are that health care organizations are utilizing for integration?

Brian Murphy: [00:01:38] Sure. In a word, it has to do with API based development integration. In the past, hardcoded integrations were commonplace, universal. Today, the increasing availability of data through APIs is making it a lot more straightforward for developers to do a couple of important things. First, trying to address this problem of burden, the applications that most people in health care use are extravagantly complex. So there’s a real need to kind of simplify workflows. Second, their inability to get at data in other applications means that they’re using more and more applications. So to the extent that organizations can begin to winnow down the number of applications that are put in front of people through things like API based integration, the industry benefits.

John Moore III: [00:02:29] Ok, so you mentioned APIs and a few of the different approaches that are being taken to these integration platforms. Can you tell me a little bit more about who is actually doing these implementations and providing these types of solutions?

Brian Murphy: [00:02:41] Yes, this report is a little bit different from our past reports. We’ve got three different categories of vendors. First, we’ve got the major EHR vendors. They are central to this entire story. Second, we have vendors who were stalwarts in the old HIE business, vendors with significant experience building different kinds of integrations. And third, and most importantly, from my standpoint, because it’s the first time we’ve ever covered this group of vendors in any of our reports, we’ve got public cloud vendors, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and the AWS. The difference between these different groups is kind of stark, if you think about it. And we’ve got a little graphic here that’s going to that kind of illustrates it. In order to kind of pull off making an impact on this problem, a vendor needs both health care experience and good development and integration tools. So public cloud vendors have got development integration clocked for the most part. The rest of our vendors are health care experts.

John Moore III: [00:03:49] It sounds like there are a lot of great new platforms and opportunities for health care organizations to rethink the core of their technology platforms, to allow better data flow and greater integration across these different platforms. So other than that, there’s these new opportunities. What is another key takeaway that you have gleaned from this research you’ve been conducting?

Brian Murphy: [00:04:08] I think one of the most significant developments over the last couple of years is the emergence of vendors who deliver integrations as a managed service. This is in stark contrast to kind of the way things worked in the past. And in no small part they are able to do this because of the existence of these public cloud companies. So the idea that you can attach to a single vendor, it gives you access to multiple customers has really, I think, changed the way most vendors approached this entire market for integration.

John Moore III: [00:04:42] Thank you for joining us today. If you’re new or if you’ve been lurking, please be sure to subscribe to our channel and click the bell buttons to receive notifications whenever we post new content. If you would like to leave a question, please do so, and someone from our team will help you out. Thank you for joining us.


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