Within healthcare the need for constant innovation is generating ever stronger demands for IT system openness. Through its long-term commitment to open standards, APIs and wide-ranging collaboration, Cambio is well prepared for such a transformation.
– This is something we have been doing for a long time, but it seems to me healthcare is catching up now and is asking for it more and more explicitly, says Cambio’s founder, Tomas Mora-Morrison.
Openness has been Cambio’s watchword since the start in 1993, and with increasing demands for new healthcare innovations, this watchword is more important than ever.
– When we started, county councils had a well-established norm of buying one system capable of handling “everything”. All functions required within primary care, in the hospitals and in all specialist areas, were expected to reside within the same system. Having now entered a new phase of healthcare digitalisation, which also includes the patient, the number of functions needing to be developed is so great that open systems have become a must, according to Cambio’s founder, Tomas Mora-Morrison.
Fundamentally this openness is a question of innovative power. When it becomes impossible for individual suppliers to deliver all healthcare solutions, they must instead create ecosystems able to utilise the innovative power of many actors.
In Cambio’s case this realisation has, during the last few years, led to a stronger focus on opening access to their platform. A clear example of this is Cambio’s involvement with openEHR, a standardised data format for electronic patient records. The idea behind openEHR is to create an open ecosystem, where different suppliers can develop applications sharing each other’s data, and in this work Cambio has been a leading force for over 10 years.
Today openEHR forms a central plank of Cambio COSMIC, and, says Tomas, using open standards is a way of future-proofing the platform.
– There are no reasons to try to “lock-in” the customer in your own system. The systems must be opened up to respond to demands, and, going forward, this will be extremely important for all suppliers to demonstrate.
Another key aspect of the creation of a “future-proof” platform has to do with sharing its development in partnership with others. Tomas explains that Cambio’s platform is being developed jointly with both Swedish and international customers, Inera (owned by SKL – Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions) and international standards organisations such as openEHR and HL7. The joint efforts even include competitor businesses.– Currently we are carrying out a pilot project at the Regional Cancer Centre Stockholm-Gotland, to supply our decision support system jointly with CGM, who is strictly speaking one of our competitors.
This type of joint project is a clear example of how the digitalisation of healthcare will develop, according to Cambio. Another example is the investment in Cambio Open Services, a cloud service, using APIs to permit a third-party business to develop and test their new applications straight onto Cambio’s platform.
Thanks to these strategic efforts, Tomas Mora-Morrison now sees Cambio assuming a clear leadership role when it comes to establishing an ecosystem for digital innovations in healthcare. The fruits of this labour can already be seen is countries where Cambio’s platform is in use. But this is only the start of the development. Tomas therefore believes that this ecosystem will, during the next few years, lead to innovations in many important areas.
– Increased mobility is one significant trend, and another is that there must be good support for patient interaction with the healthcare organisations through these systems. Furthermore, it is important that we build smart clinical decision support systems that contribute to greater patient safety by helping care providers follow best practice based on clinical evidence.
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