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Case Study
9 Min Read

How Drimpy successfully met MedMij compliance for securing health data

Rien Wertheim

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In 2011, Dutch entrepreneur Arnold Breukhoven founded Drimpy to harness the power of technology to improve medical care. Drimpy’s mission is to provide full medical data to patients and clinics to avoid incomplete data that often leads to misdiagnosis or incorrect medication. The platform empowers patients and doctors to share more accurate medical data with each other.

Arnold soon realized the potential of his health platform but he was not the only one. Soon the Dutch government implemented national programs, initiatives, and grants to standardize healthcare data and provide patients with secure access to this data. One of these programs is MedMij, the standard for the secure exchange of health data between patients and care providers in the Netherlands. The MedMij label is given to apps, websites or personal health environments (PHE) that meet MedMij’s stringent criteria.

Drimpy’s research to comply to MedMij Standards led them to Firely’s doorstep. They realized they would need a FHIR server and Firely Server turned out to be exactly what they needed. Firely has a special edition of their FHIR server that meets all the requirements of MedMij, VIPP, and other government initiatives in the Netherlands. Drimpy soon joined forces with Firely to get their health platform certified. It’s a few months down the line now and they couldn’t be happier with the results.

Drimpy dashboard
Sneak peek of Drimpy’s platform
Arnold Breukhoven
Arnold Breukhoven, CEO of Drimpy

Drimpy for better access to medical data

Arnold Breukhoven, who describes himself as a nerd, entrepreneur, and patient, started Drimpy with personal motives that have kept his focus and motivation high for the past decade. At the age of 3, Arnold was diagnosed with a chronic disease that led him to consult many, many hospitals and doctors over the course of his life. Switching among hospitals and doctors meant his medical records were always incomplete and they lost a lot of time trying to fill in the gaps. He knew his data was spread across multiple hospital systems and there was no way to find all his data in one centralized place. He realized that accessing his own medical data would also empower him to use the right words to communicate with the medical staff, leading to faster solutions regarding the next steps of his medical care. 

Drimpy’s goal became obvious: provide all available medical data to the patient and the clinic, but also make it actionable so that patients can improve their treatment and well-being with the right medication. 

The Drimpy app does not only provide the medical history of the patient. It also allows someone to check their “digital twin” and see what could potentially happen a few years from now if, for example, that same person had surgery, walked more steps per day, lost weight, etc. This would enable anyone to evaluate the potential medical risks he or she could encounter further down the line. 

Deciding to buy or build a FHIR server

When the Dutch regulations were implemented, Drimpy decided to follow MedMij’s information standard and specification: HL7 FHIR. This led to a very important question: should they buy or build a FHIR server? 

After researching this topic, Arnold and his team realized that buying a FHIR server would save them a lot of time and it would avoid overloading their team with extra work. On top of this, the timelines for certification were tight and Arnold’s team just didn’t have the time to build their own server.

More information on this topic is available in our free eBook, The Buy-vs-Build Guide to FHIR APIs

Finding the right flexibility with Firely Server

Drimpy had previously used tools from different companies but got frustrated by the lack of flexibility. They were looking for a complete FHIR server that they could tailor to their needs.

Firely Server met their expectations by providing a very flexible and comprehensive FHIR server, while simultaneously being compliant with the Dutch regulations as defined and tested by Nictiz, the Dutch national standards body. Arnold’s team particularly appreciated the fact that Firely Server not only provides out-of-the-box FHIR APIs, but also SMART on FHIR support for authentication and authorization:

“The thing I really like about Firely Server is that it’s easy to configure, deploy and scale. Things like SMART on FHIR compartment definitions, strict or flexible validation, and authorization setup are well-baked into Firely Server.

Arnold Breukhoven, CEO of Drimpy

Arnold goes on to share, “Another pro is the ability to customize the server, even to go beyond the FHIR specification if needed. I don’t want to be tied to a single cloud provider or operating system. It’s the opposite of a vendor lock-in.”

Not only were they convinced by Firely Server’s technical qualities, Drimpy also found value in Firely’s expertise in HL7 FHIR. In Arnold’s words, “It was not just the technology that convinced us. We were looking for a vendor that was deeply involved in the FHIR community, a company that has an influence on the standardization process and knows about the latest developments in FHIR. During the selection, we also found that the Firely team was always very open to feedback.”

Looking to the future

Now that they are MedMij-compliant, what’s next for Drimpy? In the upcoming year Drimpy plans to perfect the “digital twin” feature. This feature allows patients to look at their “digital twin” and see what could potentially happen a few years from now. For example, patients can compare what would happen to their health if they were to walk more every day, or if they decide to get surgery or not.

Beyond that the sky is the limit for Drimpy. With Firely Server there is a lot of potential to scale in the long term.

“We want to make sure we can trust a product, and, with Firely Server, we know we can use it widely without a problem. It’s a safe feeling to know you can do almost anything with Firely Server.”

Arnold Breukhoven, CEO of Drimpy

To learn more about Firely’s FHIR-native solutions for MedMij and VIPP, check out our website. If you’re deciding to buy or build your own FHIR API, you can download a copy of The Buy-vs-Build Guide to FHIR APIs.

Firely also offers comprehensive training courses on HL7 FHIR, including the Firely Server Workshop which helps you build a proof of concept in 3 online sessions. Our Dutch-speaking support team also provides professional services to help you with the integration of your back-end system. Feel free to reach out to us for more information. 

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