The amount of patient data generated by various medical devices, wearables, and healthcare apps grows every day. However, hospitals can make use of all this information only in case when their devices and software systems communicate via a common protocol. One of such protocols that allow healthcare apps to securely exchange sensitive patient clinical data with each other is Health Level 7 (HL7), – a globally accepted, widely accredited, and one of the most commonly used set of interoperability standards in the world.
Auriga has strived to become part of the HL7 expert community and enhance its expertise in health data interoperability. A year ago, Auriga launched a new in-house initiative on the development of an open-source library to provide interoperability for medical devices based on the HL7 protocol. In December 2016, our engineers finally released the solution.
Auriga HL7 library is a multiOS, object-oriented HL7 v2 parser for C++. It allows developers to easily use an HL7 object model for parsing and encoding necessary data. The library uses a combination of automatically generated code and carefully constructed handwritten modules and provides a series of consistent, well documented components that, when used together, provide a flexible mechanism for supporting HL7 v2 standards within application.
Thus, Auriga’s team delivered a solution that helps to support transmission of practically any data within a hospital. Data exchange between a lab and a patient monitor, Health Information System (HIS) and a lab, HIS and a Holter monitor, HIS and health wearables, within HIS itself, and within any diagnostic equipment (whether it be a small tonometer or a large ultrasound machine) can be enabled by our HL7 library.
The initial HL7 library prototype, developed for Linux and then ported to Windows, is now available for both operating systems. The application is of particular interest to clinics, as, thanks to our powerful solution, doctors no longer need to collect data from many different sources. All information could now be displayed directly on patient bedside monitors to make the treatment easier, faster and more effective.
Elena Baranova, Auriga’s Director of Engineering, comments,
Interoperability and interconnectivity between medical devices and information systems in the hospital infrastructure provides hospital personnel with the ability to share up-to-date data with patients in more effective and less time-consuming manner for better patient awareness and engagement. Auriga’s HL7 library can be widely used in software development for the healthcare industry to enhance care quality, decrease duration of treatment, and boost overall healthcare efficiency without threatening the most important principle – the security of personal data.
The solution allows any medical equipment manufacturer to find us on the Internet, obtain all the necessary documentation, access our source code, and use it in their projects under an open source license. This in-house initiative gave us an invaluable opportunity to improve our HL7 knowledge base and, at the same time, become a part of medical communities.
In 2016, we at Auriga worked hard to deepen our expertise in medical technologies. Our initiatives and projects for the healthcare domain included re-engineering of an outdated life-supporting healthcare product, developing a big data solution for cardiac monitoring, ensuring interoperability between medical devices, providing healthcare information security, and delivering a telemedicine solution to prevent disabling conditions. Software development for medical devices has long remained a priority for Auriga, and in 2017, we look forward for new innovative and complex projects in this area.