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Open APIs: A nerdy phrase with big meaning for health care

politico.pngPolitico's Arthur Allen writes about health IT and how third-party apps in electronic health records (EHRs) will help ONC (the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology) implement the 21st Century Cures Act in the face of budget cuts. The law dictates EHR vendors make patient data accessible "without special effort, through the use of application programming interfaces." APIs allow software to more easily communicate. In the health care world, APIs allow apps like VisualDx to operate within EHRs. VisualDx is mentioned as a third-party app compatible with SMART API. 

"As an example [appealing software able to be implemented in the EHR], Cerner executive David McCallie noted that Cerner now offers a product called VisualDx that contains a library of millions of photos to help doctors identify skin lesions. 'We wouldn't have had the time or inclination to develop something like that.' he said."

Read Allen's full article here.

About VisualDx

VisualDx is an award-winning diagnostic clinical decision support system that has become the standard electronic resource at more than half of U.S. medical schools and more than 1,500 hospitals and institutions nationwide.  VisualDx combines clinical search with the world's best medical image library, plus medical knowledge from experts to help with diagnosis, treatment, self-education, and patient communication. Expanding to provide diagnostic decision support across General Medicine, the new VisualDx brings increased speed and accuracy to the art of diagnosis. Learn more at