A short 101 guide for developers, doctors, founders, and patients

FHIR is an acronym (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) and is pronounced like "fire"
FHIR is an interface for structured health data. FHIR is also:
βœ”οΈ An API (REST) standard and structured document format (JSON/XML) for health data
βœ”οΈ A new way for developers, doctors, and patients to build applications that use and transform health data

REST APIs are familiar to developers. FHIR is, in part, a RESTful API over ~150 Resources (classes, entities, objects, tables, types). Each Resource has GET, POST, PATCH, etc HTTP operations. Base Resources can be constrained or extended with Profiles that are a kind of a document schema. Documents are formatted as JSON and XML.
FHIR is easy to use for developers because it exposes conventional API patterns from other industries to health care data specifically
A FHIR Resource formatted as JSON looks something like this:
"resourceType": "Patient",
"id": "newborn",
"gender": "male",
"birthDate": "2021-08-05",
JSON is the world's most popular structured data storage format, and so it's compatible with every development environment. Sero's quickstart guide has some practical starting points for developers:

FHIR powers patient access to health data like current and past medications, immunization history, allergies, diagnostic reports, clinical notes, care plans and more.
Patient-directed access to FHIR data sources is a significant initiative in the United States and operates under the umbrella term "SMART":
SMART Health IT was launched with a New England Journal of Medicine article proposing a universal API (application programming interface) to transform EHRs into platforms for substitutable iPhone-like apps
With FHIR + SMART, patient-directed access to health data is not only possible - but available in totally transparent and open ways.

FHIR is actively used, required for use, or suggested for use in a number of public and private sector projects, but most interestingly in:

No! FHIR is generally complementary to other standards though. In addition to FHIR, you might hear about:
  • HL7 V2
  • OMOP
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What is FHIR πŸ”₯?
API + document schema
Patient friendly
Is FHIR the only standard?