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Feds Schedule FHIR Code-A-Thon to Encourage Further API DevelopmentThe Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wants to drive the development of new and creative solutions that leverage HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) application programming interface.

As a result, HHS has planned a code-a-thon for April 1-2, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

The event “is expected to bring together developers from federal and state-based organizations along with entrepreneurs, startups, and research organizations to build solutions using the open source FHIR API to facilitate the exchange of health information,” reports Health Data Management.

The FHIR code-a-thon will also feature a collegial competition offering an opportunity for winners to showcase their work at Health Datapalooza in May.

“We want to find the innovators across federal government that are planning or piloting FHIR-based solutions and invite you to the code-a-thon to meet with others who are working with FHIR in the public and private sector,” noted the HHS announcement, which called FHIR the ‘hottest API in healthcare.’

“HL7 is delighted to be partnering with HHS and Academy Health on the FHIR-Code-a-Thon,” says Dr. Charles Jaffe, HL7’s CEO. “We believe this is a unique opportunity to bring our federal agency partners together with the private sector to discuss the future of FHIR in healthcare. This event marks one of the initial steps in our Partners in Interoperability program, which will be growing internationally in the coming year.”

Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative CEO Micky Tripathi thinks the emerging interoperability standard holds great promise for aligning the healthcare industry with the rest of the Internet economy.

“I’m especially pleased to see some federal government agencies actively engaged as participants in efforts to push FHIR forward, such as FHIR code-a-thons and the Argonaut Project,” Tripathi says. “The best way for the federal government to accelerate the use of FHIR in the healthcare industry is by example, rather than by regulation.”

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