Industry Collaboration Accelerating Mobile Health Data Standards

1 month ago
By Christina Caraballo, Director, Audacious Inquiry 
 
Data Standards Alert! RE: Mobile Health. Calling all interested parties to join this effort. We need you! One of longest standing jokes in the data standards world is the ongoing creation of yet another standard. That ends now. The new trend is to take leading efforts and synthesize them to eliminate silos, collaborate and leverage existing work as a foundation. 
 
Global digitalization is making mobile apps an integral part of our daily lives, and the use of data from consumer apps and devices is rapidly emerging. It is the perfect time to harness this data by standardizing how it is collected and shared to enable scalable approaches that empower stakeholders across the care continuum. As work progresses, it is vital to include a breadth of voices to better understand how standards-based approaches will support real-world implementations and use cases.  
 
Key organizations spearheading the acceleration of mobile health data standards include PCHAllianceIHE InternationalHealth Level Seven International (HL7), IEEEOpen mHealth, and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). “Connectivity is multiple implementations of open APIs. Interoperability is one implementation of one open API, dramatically reducing cost of development, integration and maintenance while increasing market reach” says Amit Trivedi, Director of Informatics and HIT Standards at HIMSS. “The 2020 IHE North American Connectathon, taking place in Cleveland, Ohio January 20-24, provides a venue for cross-industry collaboration and test environment where public and private stakeholders can demonstrate the interoperability of their products developed using open standards and implementation profiles.”  During the Connectathon, key stakeholders leading efforts to advance device and mobile health data standards will have the chance to share progress, discuss challenges, share best practices, get hands-on experience, and learn from subject matter experts. This year’s Connectathon will offer specific Standards Acceleration Tracks that will focus on emerging standards, profiles, and implementation guides (yes, of course HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®)!) in two specific domains: Devices/Health Apps and Public Health. 
 
A full day Device/Health Apps Standards Acceleration Track will be held on January 23, 2020. The morning sessions will characterize the need for mobile health apps. The afternoon session will employ an accelerated proposal process to outline opportunities for the newly formed Mobile Health Apps Work Group in the IHE Personal Connected Health Subdomain. 
 
PCHAlliance and IHE International recently announced a Joint Task Force between the two organizations to simplify health data exchange for personal health monitoring devices and mobile health apps. In October 2019, the Joint Task Force formally launched the Personal Connected Health subdomain with the IHE Patient Care Device Domain to develop IHE profiles that leverage and build upon the Continua Design Guidelines. The Joint Task Force is actively engaging with leading industry efforts to align work and lead a consensus-based approach. Additionally, schemas under development in the IEEE P1752 Open Mobile Health Working Group are being incorporated into this effort. The IEEE P1752 Working Group is spearheaded by Open mHealth, a global community of developers and health tech decision makers with a vision to make sense of digital health data through an open interoperability standard. 
 
Dr. Ida Sim, Co-Founder, Open mHealth and Professor of Medicine at University of California San Francisco is building the foundation to make patient-generated data accessible through open data standards. “Open mHealth is excited to advance specifications for open mobile health data standards and the use of open standardized APIs. As we develop schemas in the IEEE P1752 Working Group, we are in parallel actively aligning to be compatible with FHIR to serve both the health IT and the broader technology community,” 
 
Cross collaboration to map to HL7 FHIR is underway, specifically in HL7’s Mobile Health Work Group under the Mobile Health App Data Exchange (mHealthADE) Project. The most recent Project Scope Statement was published in December 2019. 
 
Keith Boone, Informatics Adept, Audacious Inquiry, agrees that collaboration is the key to success. “Standards are a community effort, and the best of these efforts involves multiple communities.  I’m very pleased to be part of this multi-stakeholder, multi-SDO effort to make personal health device data available for patients, providers and research.” 
 
Join the conversation, contribute and follow the progress!   
 
Volunteer with Open mHealth’s IEEE P1752 Open Mobile Health Working Group and HL7’s mHealthADE Project. Also, stay tuned for more information on upcoming opportunities to participate in the newly formed IHE Personal Connected Health subdomain. Join the PCHAlliance mailing list for the latest updates