November 17, 2017

Announcing one-click installations of Mirth Connect and Open-Source Connectors

Mark Olschesky
Mark Olschesky

Datica Alumni — Former Chief Data Officer

Today we are launching one-click installations of Mirth Connect combined with Open-Source Connectors. It is the next evolution of how we help solve the problem of healthcare data integration. The switch to a more open solution is a testament to our enduring commitment to helping customers with integration in the best way possible.

Healthcare developers can get started on new projects faster, and benefit from three years of learning. We aim to empower the developer community to solve the problem of integration themselves with tools that are open, reliable, compliant, and secure.

The launch is based on consistent feedback that customers need more flexibility, more control over their integration environments, better pricing at scale, and future-proofing for things like FHIR and the Epic App Orchard and Cerner Code.

Datica has been doing healthcare integration since October 2014, going through a few iterations in pricing and packaging. Regardless of the iteration, our pragmatic, partnership approach remained consistent and accomplished a lot. In three years we built a team of experts to deliver on integrations and delivered over 150 live integrations into healthcare organizations, with many more in process. Historically it was a SaaS-based pricing model where customers paid a fixed fee per month per interface, per site or even an annual license to purchase site-based delivery. We did integration work in every major vertical: vendors, life sciences, healthcare organizations, and payers.

Times have changed since 2014 in the integration world. The cloud has gone from a taboo term in digital health to the default place to build 99% of new healthcare applications. FHIR has gone from a glimmer in Grahame Grieve’s eye into an API platform that will soon be made available from most of the big EHRs. A new wave of digital health developers believe in openness first, even at hospitals as they look to commercialize IP in a digital format. There was no way to predict this would happen so fast (at least in healthcare, three years seems fast) but we are here now.

Over the last three years, we learned the best way to help our customers was to teach them this point: there is no silver bullet to integration but it is a problem you can solve with the right tools.

That’s why we are releasing the ability to deploy Mirth Connect with “one-click” into your Datica environment. You gain the expertise we’ve built on running reliable and available integration capabilities in one-click, deployed directly into your compliant environment on the Datica platform. Mirth, which is an open-source platform itself, is a great tool for software developers to use for integration. This is why we’ve written up documentation based on the hundreds of integrations that we’ve done which can teach you quickly how to get started on using Mirth.

Open-Source Mirth Connectors

We also open-sourced our code for transforming data from HL7 to JSON. This is a major evolution for digital health teams. We do not believe in locking customers into proprietary APIs, so we have published everything we’ve learned at the transformation layer, with many more scripts to come. It’s all in an effort to help you gain more transparency and confidence with EHR integration.

These connectors are a series of libraries that can be plugged into your Mirth Connect environment which immediately enable HL7 feeds for consumption by a restful API. We will be continuing to open-source content as we create it, including transformers to other data types like those for Open mHealth and Office 365 Cards. The only major limitations behind what we aim to open-source will be transforms which are based on vendor-specific connections or data models which we can’t expose due to legal reasons (e.g. Epic Interconnect XML data models).

Integration Environment Details

Take note: the integration environment is much more than just Mirth. Each environment has a bundle of tools important to successful integration:

  • Highly Available (HA) configuration of Mirth instances. HA operations of Mirth are not trivial. We make it easy, instantly.
  • HA configuration of Postgres. A supplemental database is important for initial message ingestion, and must support a similar HA nature for continuous connection.
  • Load balancers.
  • Network monitoring and usage alerts. Understanding the traffic usage is important for audit purposes. Additional alerting is important for ongoing management of a connection.
  • VPN Management. Remember, you do not integrate with Epic, you integrate with a specific site’s version of Epic. Therefore you’ll need a VPN for every integration you plan to make. Our VPN tooling makes it easy, combined with our expertise in how to ensure they stay connected 24/7.

The integration environment is available in both the Standard and Professional plans. The environment is not available for free trials (yet), but will be soon. Along with this update, we have now made VPN management available in the Standard plan as well, so people can get started with EHR integration for as low as $1,150/mo.

We’re often asked how much throughput a typical environment can handle. The answer is a lot. A single environment with no modifications can handle as many as fifty site integrations. If customers need to scale throughput, they simply scale RAM. If you have any additional questions, please reach out. We’re happy to chat.

Pricing Updates

One thing you may notice is that we do not bundle the integration environment with professional services under the name of “Managed Integration” anymore.

Our customers that have greater challenges or unique needs can now purchase both separately since services are now optional.

This means digital health teams can get all the integration tooling they need — along with HITRUST CSF Certified, HIPAA compliant, secure infrastructure housed under one Business Associate Agreement — for as little as $1,150/mo.

The other exciting news about Datica’s pricing is that this scales much better for you. It’s pricing that is truly aligned with your success.

The Future of Integration Is Open

This is a shift in how we offer integration because it better aligns with the needs of digital health companies. You want open standards, you want ease of use, you want compliance and security, but most importantly, you want successful EHR integrations. This new option gives that to you with a single click.

Healthcare developers can get started on new projects faster, and benefit from three years of learning. We aim to empower the developer community to solve the problem of integration themselves with tools that are open, reliable, compliant, and secure.

For moments where projects seem too difficult, our integration services team will be ready to jump in and help you with that lift. We see a world in which all of our customers can eventually own their own integrations and we want to provide the easiest path for customers to be able to manage that themselves. Reach out if you have any questions, we’d love to help you out.

tag Open Source Mirth EHR Workflows FHIR