What is FHIR? What is FHIR in healthcare? Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources: an Overview

Nicholas Cole
2 min readJan 3, 2023

FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is a set of standards for exchanging electronic healthcare information between different systems. It was developed by HL7, an organization that creates standards for the exchange, integration, sharing, and retrieval of electronic healthcare information.

HL7 FHIR — https://www.hl7.org/fhir/http.html

What does FHIR stand for?
FHIR stands for Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources; or more generally FHIR is a standard data format for the healthcare space.

What is FHIR in healthcare?
FHIR is designed to be flexible, scalable, and easy to implement. It uses modern web technologies, such as REST (Representational State Transfer) and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), to enable fast and efficient communication between systems.

One of the main benefits of FHIR is that it allows for the seamless exchange of healthcare information between different systems, such as electronic health records (EHRs), hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, and more. This can improve the quality of care for patients by giving healthcare providers access to a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health history.

FHIR also has the potential to improve patient care by enabling the creation of new healthcare applications and tools. For example, developers can use FHIR to build apps that allow patients to access their own health information or to connect different devices, such as wearable fitness trackers, to their EHRs.

Another advantage of FHIR is that it is an open standard, meaning that it is free to use and developers are not required to pay licensing fees to use it. This makes it more accessible and allows for greater innovation in the healthcare, healthtech and medtech sector.

Despite its potential benefits, FHIR is not without its challenges. One of the main challenges is ensuring that the different systems that use FHIR are able to communicate with each other effectively. This requires the development of appropriate APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and the establishment of standards for data governance.

In conclusion, FHIR is a promising technology that has the potential to improve the exchange of healthcare information and create new opportunities for healthcare innovation. While there are challenges to overcome, the adoption of FHIR has the potential to greatly benefit both patients and healthcare providers.

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