Organise and make sense [Help Needed]

Hello community,

I’m new to the health ecosystem, considering architectures. Startup mindset.

As we’ve established long long long time ago health is complicated, with the digitalisation of healthcare a “health-in-flux” chronicle might be in order.

Exploring FHIR in depth I’ve came to be somewhat confused by current state of affairs, namely the “Resources” concept.

Q1: Would “resources” be a good enough generalisation to say that they are supposed to represent actual “things” that a care giver needs to “know” in order to provide treatment to a patient? (for ex. CarePlan, Medications, FamilyMedicalHistory) ?

Q2: There are resources grounded in FHIR, then there are resources defined in project argonaut.

  1. Are these the same?
  2. Can they conflict?
  3. Might they be eventually merged?

Q3: How smart on FHIR who are creating “specifications” related to the resources defined by FHIR/argonaut? What difference purpose do these serve?

Q4: How (or is?) related to any of the above?

Q5: Any other initiatives that I’ve not listed working towards making FHIR more startups get go friendly?


Resources are data structures for sharing healthcare-related information. So if you want to pass information about a patient’s care plans, family history, allergies, etc. forom one system to another, FHIR Resources define a standardized data syntax for doing so.

Argonaut doesn’t define any resources. Only the HL7 FHIR specification can define resources (if you want to be FHIR-conformant). Argonaut defines profiles on top of the resources that constrain them for use in the U.S. in systems that are human-centric, EHR-focused and bound by the U.S. “meaningful use” regulations. These profiles do things like standardize what code systems should be used for medications, diagnoses, allergies, etc. They also tighten up requirements, such as mandating that be sent and define extensions for things like race and ethnicity. The base FHIR specification can’t be as tight because it’s intended to apply in all countries (which don’t all use the same code systems or have the same regulations around things like race and ethnicity) and covers veterinary medicine where the patients might be chickens or something where doesn’t apply.

SMART on FHIR is a standard that’s build on top of FHIR that allows systems to create “apps” that can run inside or alongside EHR systems that behave sort of like phone apps - they can access data from those EHRs and can be granted permissions around what data they can see.

As far as I can tell, has no relation to FHIR at all. I’m not familiar with it and I think it’s safe to say that if it had anywhere close to the market penetration of FHIR, I would have encountered it previously.

You should probably also look at CDS Hooks. You might also look at comming to a FHIR connectathon to get some hands-on experience and become more familiar with the community.