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Driving Innovation at Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services (MiHIN) Connectathon

Recently, I got a clear glimpse into the exciting future of healthcare data as the Augusto team attended MiHIN’s second annual Connectathon event in Detroit.

Together with many technical and non-technical experts in the healthcare and finance industries, we explored innovative solutions to healthcare interoperability using open application program interfaces (API) and patterns that work in other industries, such as finance.

The event was also the debut of MiHIN’s Interoperability Land (IOL), which Augusto has been helping to develop. Interoperability simply means the ability of computer systems or software to exchange and make use of information.

IOL is a shared digital platform designed to power the future of development between organizations and systems using realistic synthetic healthcare data. Essentially, it’s a no-risk environment where we can build and test apps against realistic health data split across multiple organizations in a health network.

Interoperability is a huge area of investment nationwide right now as we collectively seek more innovation around healthcare data. It was incredibly exciting and hopeful to watch so many talented people quickly use IOL to build apps that can effectively solve problems in our current healthcare system.

Participants, including several Augusto staff, broke into teams to explore a variety of audience-nominated ideas. Each team’s IOL test environment was populated with a synthetic healthcare network comprised of eleven Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR): servers that mimic real-world healthcare organizations like doctor’s offices, health plans, hospitals, pharmacies, and specialty clinics.

They spent about 24 hours developing their apps before pitching their demos to a panel of judges, of which I was a member. We elected our top five ideas, at which point the audience voted by text for the top three winners.

The winning concept was Silver Sparrow, a patient-centered application that creates a 360-degree view of a patient’s healthcare, expenses, and challenges. Silver Sparrow puts the patient in charge of their healthcare by marrying clinical, claims, and financial data to empower patients to make more informed healthcare-related decisions. Stephen, one of Augusto’s team members, helped this team with the app user experience and front-end development.

Overall, Connectathon was a tremendously successful event for the Augusto team as we made strong new connections with other talented people working in this space.

Thanks to MiHin for inviting us to participate!

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