300 Students Tackle Healthcare Challenges through Georgia Tech's FHIR-based Programming Course

HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) is the rapidly emerging standard for healthcare interoperability and is now widely used to develop electronic health record (EHR) connected healthcare applications or apps. Georgia Tech’s unique FHIR-based programming course enables students to create innovative projects using FHIR to tackle a wide range of healthcare challenges from clinical care to patient empowerment to research to public/population health, quality and safety, and cost-effectiveness. Last semester, over 50 FHIR-based applications were developed over the course of 4 months as teams of students worked under the guidance of mentors from Emory, the CDC, and elsewhere.

The Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance (Georgia CTSA) has supported developing and maintaining the infrastructure for research and education using FHIR.  The FHIR-based programming course allows the development of applications that can be integrated into Emory’s API gateway. Currently, a host of Emory researchers are piloting test projects using the CTSA-supported FHIR infrastructure.

The Georgia CTSA Informatics Program is a collaborative effort of Emory University, Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), University of Georgia (UGA) and affiliated institutions. The program brings together a unique assembly of talent and information technology to support a wide range of Georgia CTSA investigator projects. The team consists of experts in biomedical informatics, computer science, and information technology from the Georgia CTSA partner institutions. Informatics focuses on linkages and integration of translational and clinical/health systems (existing and new electronic records systems, including patient data repositories and Clinical Data Warehouses at partnering institutions).

The Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance (Georgia CTSA) is an inter-institutional magnet that concentrates basic, translational, and clinical research investigators, community clinicians, professional societies, and industry collaborators in dynamic clinical and translational research projects. Emory engaged three of its close academic partners – Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia Tech, and UGA – to form the Georgia CTSA. This partnership, a strategic multi-institutional alliance, offers compelling, unique, and synergistic advantages to research and patients statewide.

Georgia CTSA is one of nearly 60 in a national consortium striving to improve the way biomedical research is conducted across the country. The consortium, funded through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical and Translational Science Awards, shares a common vision to translate laboratory discoveries into treatments for patients, engage communities in clinical research efforts, and train the next generation of clinical investigators.

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