FHIR was built for interoperability. FOCUS is built for action.

FOCUS is here: simplified patient data so providers can make the most informed clinical decisions at the point of care.

FHIR has revolutionized healthcare data interoperability. However, in the last two years since we launched our own FHIR API we noticed a pattern: many organizations are experiencing friction when attempting to adopt FHIR into their workflows. Some of these challenges include the cost of implementation, lack of FHIR expertise, and lack of infrastructure. 

This brings us to our mission: “To enable simple and secure access to actionable healthcare data for digital health innovators.” This means keeping healthcare data accessible to all healthcare organizations. So far, patient medical records have only been available to companies that have enough time, knowledge, and resources to handle the complexities of C-CDA and FHIR data. So, in the spirit of our mission, we decided to take a radical step in the next phase of data transformation, beyond C-CDA or FHIR structures, and into a flattened, tabular format for maximum speed and flexibility. Now, organizations can use their existing architecture without the need to specialize in complex healthcare data formats. 

Introducing Particle FOCUS

Healthcare data is vast. Particle’s new suite of FOCUS (Filtered Outputs Curated for Usability + Simplicity) products filter out the noise by consolidating and curating patient data. Our curated datasets consist of the most relevant disease drivers and indicators for a specific condition. 

Leveraging clinical expertise, data is refined using clinically validated, code-based sets of labs (LOINC), diagnoses (ICD-10), procedures (CPT/HCPCS), and medications (RxNORM) across 7 areas: diabetes, cardiology, oncology, CKD, gastroenterology, pulmonology, and orthopedics. By surfacing the right data at the point of care, providers can:

  • Onboard and assess patients quickly and affordably
  • Track and improve understanding of patient risk to better avoid costly ED visits
  • Find and address gaps in care, at the point of care

Spend Less Time Wrangling Data

Not a FHIR expert? No problem. Utilizing our team’s FHIR expertise, we built FOCUS as a way to minimize complexity and help organizations derive value fast. In addition to making patient data more accessible to healthcare organizations, FOCUS pairs highly usable data with an accelerated implementation process. We’ve made it easy for your team to deliver actionable data to clinicians right at the point of care.

By choosing to work with FOCUS data, development teams no longer have to deal with fragmented C-CDA documents or make the uphill climb of building out FHIR infrastructure. To get started with the fastest interoperability APIs, care organizations usually allocate at least 2 senior software engineers over a 12 week period. FOCUS cuts that time roughly in half. To put that into perspective, that’s about $74K saved in resource allocation. Better patient care is the ultimate goal, and we want to shift the focus from implementation towards building impactful treatment workflows. 

How We Simplify Data 

While FHIR is an industry standard for exchanging clinical information, the nested structure and complex specification of the data can make it difficult for non-experts to access key elements and aggregate related information in one query. In FHIR, healthcare data is broken down into categories called resources (such as patients and laboratory results). Each resource contains necessary data elements, and links to relevant information in other resources. This creates a ‘web’ of patient data scattered across multiple resources.

We’ve simplified this data by grouping FHIR resources into related datasets, and transforming the data into an easily ingestible, tabular format. For example, Figure 1 shows individual FHIR resources that have been combined to create the related dataset called ‘Medications’ that is presented in a tabular format. Representing this information in a table makes it easy to read and interpret data.

We’ve consolidated FHIR resources into 13 related datasets that serve as the building blocks for our FOCUS products: encounters, problems, compositions, allergies, medications, labs, practitioners, social histories, locations, immunizations, vital signs, procedures, and document references. Simply indicate which datasets you wish to receive by specifying a single dataset, multiple datasets, or all datasets in the parameters of a query. 

FOCUS products are a condition-specific, curated version of these related datasets. For example, specifying ‘diabetes’ within the parameters of a query will apply a diabetes-specific filter on top of these 13 datasets, returning only diabetes-related diagnoses, medications, labs, and procedures. 

Getting Started with FOCUS

We made it as simple as possible to get started. FOCUS datasets are accessible through our existing API. Our beta customers were able to quickly add the feature with minimal code by simply adding a new optional parameter to each query resulting in actionable, curated data. Since access to FOCUS is not enabled automatically, please contact our team to discuss competitive pricing for this premium feature.