Group Therapy Demonstrator Linking Skype to FHIR to generate communication channels between patients and doctors
My name is Alexandru-Vlad Niculae and I am a second-year Computer Science student at University College London. I have been passionate about computer science since high school and I am thrilled to discover new concepts and topics.
Standards in systems development are needed in order to facilitate interoperability, efficiency and innovation (IEI). This would assure safety of systems, ensure that systems and their materials are tailored-made for their purpose and would promote common understanding of a system.
At the moment, the Electronic Healthcare Record systems are vendor specific, operating independently of one another, thus disconnecting records of care. To solve this, HL7 created FHIR – a standard data exchange framework. It is structured, standardized and human-readable aiming towards universal interoperability.
In order to explore the FHIR standard and Azure API for FHIR in the context of healthcare, I developed a web application together with GOSH DRIVE and UCL that generates communication channels between patients and doctors using Skype.
This web application acts as a Group Therapy Demonstrator that would allow NHS doctors to simply create group therapy sessions with patients through Skype. This can have a great impact on the efficiency of NHS services and would allow patients fast and remote access to healthcare.
Design and Implementation
To successfully implement this project, I have used Python to develop an API that generates URIs to Skype group calls given a list of patients in the FHIR standard. This API is available on the Python Package Index repository (https://pypi.org/project/GOSH-FHIRworks2020-SkypeURI/). I then used Django to create a web application that easily connects to FHIR patients using the mentioned API.
The application consists of three independent components. The first component handles the FHIR patients data importation – this was achieved using the developed Skype API. The second component is the backend side of the web application, which is responsible for storing and manipulating the data. The last component is represented by the frontend side of the application, which was achieved using Django by interleaving Python code with frontend technologies such as Bootstrap.
The resulting application can be used by NHS doctors to create Skype group calls, filtering out patients with common characteristics.