The purpose of this project is to develop an implementation guide (IG) to document the functional requirements and provide a framework supporting App Data Exchange between mobile health devices, apps and other parts of the Health IT Infrastructure (e.g., EHR, PHR, research). The framework can be used to assess mobile health devices, apps and FHIR profiles to ensure that essential data needed for a variety of use cases (i.e., clinical, patient and research) is present.
Mobile health devices and apps usually provide their own APIs and methods for collecting device data and communicating it to EHRs, Personal Health Record (PHRs) and research endpoints. Much of this data can (and has been) readily converted to FHIR resources. However, limits have been encountered which demonstrate that essential data needed to generate, interpret and use the FHIR resources is often missing. Hence the need to develop an implementation guide describing the functional requirements of such systems in the mobile health environment.
The draft FHIR implementation guide, mHealth App Data Exchange Framework & Functional Requirements (mHealth ADE), was balloted in May 2020. The source code for this guide is can be accessed via the HL7 Github pages.
At the onset of this project, an analysis was conducted to better understand variations in FHIR data exchanged from mobile health devices and apps. A wide variety of data can be collected and shared via mobile health devices and apps. This project will begin with a limited scope of data, including vital signs, physical activity, sleep and blood sugar. The intention is to create a implementation guide that can expand incrementally to include a more robust set of data elements.
The initial set of data elements are readily accessible in many mobile health apps and devices. Similar data is often used during treatment of disease affecting cardiovascular, cereberovascular, lower respiratory, and endocryne systems. These diseases are five of the top ten leading causes of death in the US (https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm) and four out of ten in the world (https://ourworldindata.org/causes-of-death). Thus, they are high priority items to address in this project.