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Progress Health Cloud tackles healthcare IT integration

Disparate systems and siloes plague healthcare when what is needed is true healthcare IT integration. Progress aims to achieve this with its new Health Cloud platform.

The result of hospitals going digital has been the creation of disparate systems and applications, often at the expense of healthcare IT integration and a unified ecosystem in which data can flow seamlessly from one app to another.

Progress Software Corp., a software platform company based in Bedford, Mass., is hoping to fix this problem with its Progress Health Cloud, which was released today. The new enterprise cloud fully integrates front-end, back-end and data connectivity technologies into a serverless and HIPAA-compliant platform for quickly creating apps to drive patient engagement and better healthcare outcomes, Progress said in a press release.

Although Progress Health Cloud can't solve large-scale patient data interoperability issues, it can ease associated healthcare IT integration problems, Dmitri Tcherevik, CTO at Progress, said in an interview with SearchHealthIT. "I don't think an IT solution can be used to address a political [problem] that may exist in any particular organization ... but we can help resolve it by providing an interoperable system and an integration platform," he said. "No one has technology obstacles and difficulties as an excuse to integration, given the platform that we offer."

The goal: A unified healthcare IT integration system

Progress' Health Cloud comes equipped with HIPAA-compliant, prepackaged healthcare application templates, as well as prepackaged integrations with EHRs, according to the company. Some of the EHR vendors already on board include Epic Systems, Athenahealth, Cerner and GE Healthcare.

No one has technology obstacles and difficulties as an excuse to integration, given the platform that we offer.
Dmitri TcherevikCTO at Progress

Progress' goal is to create a unified, connected health IT ecosystem. "EHR systems are responsible for creation, collection, management and retrieval of health records in a standard format that ensures interoperability with other elements of a healthcare IT solution," Tcherevik said. "Progress Health Cloud provides a platform for assembling a complete IT solution that includes EHR as one of its elements."

In addition to integrating with a variety of EHR vendors, Progress' Health Cloud also enables healthcare IT integration with applications such as patient care management, remote patient monitoring, patient self-service, preventive healthcare and community engagement, Tcherevik said.

"Each such solution requires cross-platform mobile applications, a range of cloud services and connectors to EHR systems," he said. "Progress Health Cloud provides application templates, cloud services, connectors to EHR systems and other sources of data."

Health Cloud uses Kinvey serverless technology

All of this runs on the Kinvey serverless cloud platform, which Progress acquired over the summer, and it includes NativeScript components, which makes it easy to build cross-platform mobile experiences, the press release said.

"Typically, when a company needs to deploy an application, it also needs to provision cloud services ... like authentication, data management and event management. And provisioning those services also requires provisioning servers, machines," he said. "It can be a virtual machine or a physical machine somewhere in the data center, and that requires a lot of effort ... and that may also be expensive."

Dmitri Tcherevik, CTO, ProgressDmitri Tcherevik

With a serverless platform, Tcherevik explained, if health IT developers build an application, they do not have to manage virtual or physical machines or servers. Rather, they only need to write code to form certain functions or services and then deploy that code on Progress' Health Cloud platform, which will take care of the computing resources and the storage required to run the code, he said.

"There are no servers that developers have to deal with, and because of that ... [Progress Health Cloud] simplifies and accelerates the whole process of application development," Tcherevik said.

Progress has piloted its Health Cloud with organizations such as Boston Scientific, Johnson & Johnson, Athenahealth and BayHealth Development, a University of California San Francisco Health and John Muir Health joint-venture company that is focused on infrastructure development to support the needs of Canopy Health accountable care network.

Dig Deeper on Establishing interoperable electronic health systems