Making new connections at the 2017 Connectathons

If you’re a seasoned digital health developer, you probably know what a “connectathon” is, and might even have been involved in one already. For the rest of our readers, a connectathon is an opportunity for developers to check that their implementations connect to other systems as intended. An additional benefit of connectathons is that they help to confirm that the specifications governing the connections are complete.

The Australian Digital Health Agency hosted simultaneous connectathons for secure messaging and clinical terminologies this year, the latter in collaboration with the CSIRO. At the secure messaging event, software vendors validated their HL7 profiles and checked that the FHIR® Provider Directory API is ready for adoption in their solutions. The first implementations will be through the two secure messaging proof of concept projects that will deliver discharge summaries and referrals.

Dec 2017 Connectathon

The 2017 Connectathon in progress in Melbourne, Victoria.

The HL7 FHIR® standard also played a prominent role in the National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS) event, where developers explored the NCTS’s FHIR STU3 upgrade, advanced medication use cases, and use of NCTS services in general. Another stream provided education for both technical and non-technical users.

Great progress was made in both connectathons, with participants commenting on the value of collaborating in the room, with different vendors participating and validating the end-to-end process of sending messages real time, including utilising different vendors’ implementations of the new FHIR Provider Directory API.

“The value of these type of connectathon sessions is being able to work side by side with other vendors, testing the products in real time against the actual software used by our customers.”
-- Brian, Telstra Health.

These events are free and open to all registered developers, but they are proving to be increasingly popular, so we encourage anyone with an interest to register via the above links. This can be your chance to make some great connections!