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March 21st, 2018

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Open healthcare’s time has arrived.

What the healthcare marketplace needs now is a way to easily provide and share products and services that enable healthcare consumers, providers, payers, and third-party services to interact with greater ease. Such an open healthcare marketplace will push the boundaries of data transparency for healthcare consumers.

This might sound to some like an impossible dream for healthcare, but API integration provides a clear path to making open healthcare a reality.

Why Are APIs So Important?

APIs (application program interfaces) can foster a connected marketplace for consumers, payers and providers. As a prescient 2015 article in the Harvard Business Review put it, “In a healthcare market where APIs are commonplace, patients could have easy, efficient access to their own data…Providers would be empowered by innovative user interfaces and analytics platforms that could support their clinical decision making.” And APIs hold similar benefits for payers.

No longer simply a technical interface, APIs have become a business priority that drives revenue and lowers costs by connecting with internal and partner applications. Healthcare organizations need to leverage APIs to connect mobile, social, IoT and big data sources with legacy applications. But API development and management are traditionally complex and resource-intensive.

The Secret Sauce: API Management

For APIs to play a prominent role in the evolution of value-based care delivery, API management must take on a more prominent role. Moreover, the market in which API management vendors compete is changing.

“There are fewer standalone API management vendors out there,” explains Dell Boomi product manager Sean Collins. “API management is starting to coalesce around integration platform as a service offerings (iPaaS) that connect the underlying data and application ecosystem that APIs expose.”

Integration helps organizations meet the management challenges that exist side by side with the benefits of APIs, which include:

  • Who has access to diverse types of information? Do they have the right levels of access and permissions?
  • How can you keep dependable SLAs and meet the expectations of developers for business-critical applications?
  • How is the API used? Do you know when you’ve hit your threshold limit in terms of usage and number of users?

Boomi API Management: Fast, Simple, Scalable

API capabilities in the Boomi platform make API development and management faster, simpler and more scalable by bringing integrations and their applications into one common, drag-and-drop development environment with a centralized “single pane of glass” view into API connections.

Boomi API management supports secure, real-time interactions between participants in the healthcare ecosystem. It offers a unified, cloud-based platform to centrally manage and enrich API interactions through their entire lifecycle. With Boomi, organizations can:

  • Rapidly create and publish any endpoint, as an API on-premise or in the cloud
  • Deliver world-class member or patient experiences through a unified platform
  • Create composite applications across data sources, modernize existing applications, and unlock legacy systems data as web services for new applications

A New Healthcare Model

A healthcare market opened up by APIs would benefit payers, providers and consumers. To start, it would give unprecedented power to patients who, for the first time, could use their own data to understand their health and make better healthcare decisions.

For providers the adoption of open APIs would spur application development, delivering innovative user interfaces and analytics platforms that would improve clinical options at the point of care. With secure access to clinical data for developers, a robust “API economy” in healthcare could grow and thrive.

Payers would also benefit. They need access to claims and clinical data. It’s the only way payers can develop the analytical models that make it possible to reward providers who improve outcomes while reducing costs.

In addition, these models need to include internal financial data and third-party data from sources such as HealthData. govCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There are also for-profit companies such as GNS Healthcare that provide insights-as-a-service to the healthcare industry. The key to all of this is APIs.

What we’ve described is a new healthcare model. Building it requires far greater data integration among all participants. Through low-code integration, master data management, and API management, Boomi can help.

About the Author John Reeves is Dell Boomi’s healthcare solutions evangelist.