A developer is good. A bunch of developers can be great.
The medical world needs a bunch of developers now more than ever. Specifically, APIs need to be more prevalent than they are. In the medical world, doctors all use an EMR (electronic medical record) software for their scheduling, billing, patient records etc. If it isn’t in the EMR, doctors usually don’t or can’t use it. APIs allow products to be built into EMRs, making them turbo charged.
For example, our company QueueDr has most recently integrated with drchrono. Our experience with drchrono has us believing the future of healthcare can be great, with robust APIs.
But why does the medical world need APIs more so than any other industry?
Existing EMRs must focus on the ever changing and demanding legal requirements
Prime examples include helping providers reach Meaningful Use 2 (and eventually 3), while adjusting to ICD10 billing codes. These requirements can always be added to or delayed. EMRs are mostly just trying to keep up with these requirements and can’t commit themselves fully to new features and broader innovation!
Fresh perspectives are needed
The companies with the highest market share in healthcare software have been around for 40 years. It doesn’t matter who you are, its very hard not to get complacent or protective of market share instead of focusing on innovating. It happens in every market…ever. Fresh perspectives, different ways of thinking and challenging the norm will lead to better products for healthcare.
To fill in the cracks
When you run a multi-billion dollar business, there are problems that are too small for you. That includes potentially hundred million dollar businesses! Google is famous for ignoring small problems to focus on moonshots. However, that doesn’t mean that these small problems aren’t worth solving. Healthcare is rare in that the problem isn’t the platform, it is the lack of features on that platform. There are dozens of specialties and unique use cases that each EMR can’t solve. APIs are PERFECT for exactly this.
APIs are the secret sauce to a better healthcare. Will it happen industry wide? Probably not for many years to come, UNLESS the government can mandate it as part of their push for interoperability. Require that the APIs needed for interoperability be made public.