Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD
Datica Podcast

Charles Jaffe, MD: Why Healthcare Should Expand its View of FHIR

October 18, 2016   Leadership

Mohan Balachandran chats with HL7 CEO Charles Jaffe, MD in this podcast presentation. From this segment, listeners will discover more about FHIR and learn why developers and hospital systems shouldn’t wait for a fully baked data exchange standard. Healthcare leaders often raise many questions around FHIR and Dr. Jaffe provides clarity around those questions. With standards as a critical component of healthcare innovation, this FHIR-based podcast is a must for those who can’t get enough understanding of FHIR.

On the origination of FHIR: “Five years ago, as part of the HL7 Fresh Look initiative, we developed the FHIR standard. And that standard has evolved so that we are about to emerge as a normative standard in the spring. By normative standard I mean one that has been validated and approved by the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI.”

On the future promise of FHIR: “I think as we move forward, we’ll see more and more applications suited to healthcare literacy, so patients aren’t confronted with their lab results but have access to explanations of their procedures, lab tests, results, diagnosis and the medications they take, all on a convenient single interface.”

On leveraging data for precision medicine: “No longer will we give the same starting dose of the same drug for every patient that has elevated blood pressure. But they will be able to adjust, not on the dose, but the type of medication specifically for the pathology inherent in the elevation of the blood pressure and the genetic characteristics of the patient that has to take it.”

[FHIR has] reached a point of adoption where there is enough critical mass to ensure that these APIs that the stability of the standard and the usefulness of the platform can be assured.”

On FHIR’s direct impact: “FHIR is very fast to develop so the ease with which application development and therefore the cost of application development has been brought down critically.”

On groups leveraging FHIR: “One of these is the clinical research community. So not only the regulated research community – bio, pharma and small bio-tech, but also the academic research community sees an opportunity to obtain data from multiple sources. But more importantly, bring data from other sources there.”

On clinical decision support: “I think one of the critical areas that physicians often overlook that leverage the value of electronic health records is clinical decision support. So there is an initiative in support of FHIR called CDS Hooks, which use FHIR to access the many commercial and public databases for clinical decision support.”

More On FHIR: The Grahame Grieve Interviews

Dr. Jaffe mentioned Grahame Grieve, “The Father of FHIR”, in this episode. Check out parts one, two, and three of these interviews.

Today's Guest

Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD
Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD

CEO, the HL7 organization

Dr. Jaffe is the CEO of the HL7 organization and serves as its global ambassador.

In his current role, he fosters relationships with key industry stakeholders. As a 37-year veteran of the healthcare IT industry, Dr. Jaffe previously provided strategy for the Intel Corporation’s digital Health Group as a Senior Global Strategist, also helped lead Life Sciences at SAIC as its Vice President, and had been the Director of Medical Informatics at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. After completing his medical training at Johns Hopkins and Duke Universities, he received a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and at Georgetown University.

Dr. Jaffe also led an informatics consultancy, as InforMed’s president. Over the course of his career, he has been the principal investigator for more than 200 clinical trials, and has served in various leadership roles in the American Medical Informatics Association. He has been a board member on leading organizations for information technology standards, and served as the chair of a national institutional review board. Most recently, Penn State University appointed him to the Department of Engineering. Dr. Jaffe has also been the contributing editor for several journals and has published on a range of subjects, including clinical management, informatics deployment, and healthcare policy.

Our Interviewer

Mohan Balachandran
Mohan Balachandran

Datica Alumni — Former Co-Founder

Mohan is an engineer by training, passionate about healthcare, data and technology. He is a firm believer in “connecting the dots.” He co-founded Datica with Travis to help bring change to healthcare, and spent four years guiding the company before moving onto new opportunities.

Before founding Datica, Mohan worked within supply chain management and master data management. After securing degrees from IIT Bombay and University of Pennsylvania, he worked with Fortune 100 companies developing solutions for their supply chain and data management needs. From there, he applied lessons learned to healthcare at US Oncology (now part of McKesson) and Net.Orange (now part of NantHealth).

Mohan moved into multi-platform development after seeing first-hand the challenges of an emerging mobile economy. He is a YCombinator Summer 2012 alum. He has presented at various HIMSS and AHIP sessions, and is a noted speaker about compliance at healthcare events.