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Health Interoperability
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FHIR, Only Affordable for the High-income Countries?

Rien Wertheim

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You may come to believe that FHIR is primarily successful in high-income countries, especially while looking at the HAPI FHIR downloads and the Simplifier.net world map. There is also a significant contingent of FHIR implementers in India, but that is mainly due to the involvement of Indian engineers in US health IT.

That’s a pity. FHIR is a global standard by nature. You will not find a single country-specific element in the base specification. Attributes like “ethnicity” (US) or “BSN” (the Netherlands) are regional extensions. The opportunities that FHIR offers for healthcare and health IT are global, as the underpinning problems are global.

FHIR DevDays is the largest educational FHIR event in the world. It has always been cost prohibitive for participants from the low and middle income countries. Not only were the ticket fees inadequate for the price levels in those regions, but the costs of travel and stay were also insurmountable.

As a result of Covid, DevDays went virtual and took away the barriers of travel and stay. The only remaining challenge was the ticket fee. In collaboration with Asia-SIL, HL7 India, and Grahame Grieve, who always felt dearly about this topic, Firely is now encouraging participation from the low and middle-income countries. Firely is now lowering the entrance fees. A DevDays ticket for African countries is now 50 euro, while other countries in this category pay 100 euro. Please note that the normal fees range from 650 to 750 euro.

Hopefully this initiative will help accelerate an inclusive use of FHIR in other parts of the world as well.

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2 thoughts

  1. Roshith on said:

    Thanks a lot for this great initiative to lower the enrollment fees for the low and middle income countries.

  2. Emeka Chukwu on said:

    Thanks for this great initiative targeted at LMICs. I look forward to this year’s devDay event.

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