Debate: clinicians should be allowed to create health apps

There was an excellent debate at the Let’s do digital conference last week

I thought I’d share it here

(Link starts 3h 4m 52s into a 7h recording of the live stream)


PS I’m not a clinician, but I keep meeting clinicians who code and we need more. I always tell them to join the FCI.

PPS my only contribution here is my experience working at nhs trusts where a significant number of the systems our suppliers were providing where initially written by clinicians. e.g. the symphony ED system

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Thanks @spdegabrielle - love both the PS and PPS. We all just need to keep on going, we need to rebuild health tech in a way that makes it work better for patients and staff and less well for vast megacorps.

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Isn’t that true for many systems?

One of my current roles is ‘written by a clinician’ system, well designed by a clinician. The amount of feedback, suggestions I and the other developers is massive.

Is common themes what the clinician says, I can find them in US literature but for some reason its absent in the UK.
Main ones:

Communication, Care Coordination and Pathway/workflow support.

What I’m told in other roles is mostly EHR record focused. It is quite technical before it enters technical arena.

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On clinicians writing code:

The US has a lot of support/tools which allows clinicians to write code and work with the big monoliths. Is this a use case tech should be asked to push in UK?

Can you be more specific?

Do you mean low-code, RPA scripting, or graphical report builders? Or can clinicians extend their EPR or departmental module with code in MUMPS, Python or some other GPPL ?

Best regards

Google 'Smart on FHIR and Cerner
Not sure about AllScripts and EPC but they may offer the same.

It’s a bit like click through applications in a portal/EPR but you also have a security token to access the patients data
HL7.FHIR.UV.SMART-APP-LAUNCH\Overview - FHIR v4.0.1 ← This is really an OAuth2 extension and can be applied to other RESTful API’s (openEHR???)

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You also have the vendor neutral archive from openEHR, that relies on a shared database and can support multiple applications

(and openEHR can share it’s data via vendor neutral openAPI’s (ie FHIR) and probably can support same SMART on FHIR Context Launch either using FHIR or openEHR api’s ← Not sure about all of this)

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Great to see people talking about this here. The video has now been edited and moved to

I am going to be starting a Clinicians-who-code course this coming year with a afew colleagues (including Marcus Baw). Would be great to get people’s input on this from openhealthhub.