Drchrono opens API for developers, providers

By Jonah Comstock
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drchrono's OnPatient app drchrono's OnPatient app

Mobile EHR company drchrono is opening a developer API, allowing any one to build an app that interacts with the free, iPad-based platform.

"I think this API is letting us build and deliver a better product than even large multi-billion dollar EHR companies," Michael Nusimow, CEO and cofounder of drchrono told Babyforyou.net.ua. "They're not Silicon Valley companies and they don't understand how to work with developers."

According to drchrono, open APIs on the clinical side of the healthcare market are few and far between because of regulatory concerns. Only 1.3 percent of the APIs on the ProgrammableWeb, a database of more than 10,000 APIs, are healthcare industry related. Although large developers have APIs, they often charge fees to use and customized systems make integration complicated, according to Nusimow. If someone wants to integrate with an EHR like Epic, they have to integrate with each hospital separately.

Rather than hospitals, drchrono works with ambulatory care facilities and private practices. Because the tool is mobile, integrated apps will be accessible to all drchrono users.

The drchrono API will allow developers, hospitals, doctors, and medical device companies to more easily build software to interface with drchrono's iPad and iPhone-based EMR platform. Medical imaging companies can build interfaces that facilitate faster communication of radiological images, for instance. Medical billing companies, physician marketing tools, and enterprising physicians who want to build their own workflow tools are all examples Nusimow gave of possible partners.

Drchrono gets the benefit of added functionality without having to build its own additional tools, while the startups get distribution among however many of drchrono's professed 55,000 users choose to download their app. Rather than having to build trust with each doctor customer, developers can cash in on doctors' trust in drchrono, which will vet each app for safety, security, and effectiveness before making it available, according to Nusimow.

At least three companies have already signed on to use the API: MedXT, an inter-hospital communication platform; diagnostic imaging provider Nephosity; and doctor-finder app BetterDoctor.

"The drchrono API is more like the API you see in top-tier modern web platforms than the typical healthcare system integration process," MedXT cofounder Reshma Khilnani said in a statement. "You can do your integration in hours, not months. We are using drchrono’s single sign on because it’s simple and powerful. Now with MedXT, it will bring radiology data to physicians' fingertips in the interface they use every day."

As more companies sign on to integrate with the API, drchrono will begin vetting them and featuring select apps to be featured in . Nusimow said another app that's signed on is a small company focused exclusively on vitals signs monitoring.

Practice Fusion, another EHR company focused on the private practice space, told it was planning to open a Practice Fusion App Store. It has  and recently told Babyforyou.net.ua of plans to expand it in 2014 to better integrate with medical devices.

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