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Medical Device Integration

Simplify Medical Device Integration and Speed Up EHR Implementation

The US market size for wearable and portable medical devices is expanding rapidly and expected to reach $14.5 billion by 2027. Integration of medical device data with EMR systems is crucial for providing comprehensive and up-to-date health information for informed decision making and better patient care. The integration process poses challenges such as compatibility between devices and EMR systems, cost, time and scalability. PilotFish offers an interface engine solution to simplify the integration process, thus eliminating complexity and variations. This interface engine is scalable, non-script driven, self-documenting and cost-effective. PilotFish supports data standardization, connectivity, data translation and security measures such as encryption and decryption, quickly and efficiently. 

The US market size of wearable and portable medical devices is growing rapidly. According to a 2020 market research report, the US wearable medical device market was valued at approximately $8.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.3% from 2020 to 2027, reaching a market size of $14.5 billion by 2027.

The integration of medical device and equipment data with electronic medical record (EMR) systems and clinical and analytic solutions is a critical aspect of modern healthcare. Integration is crucial for providing a comprehensive and up-to-date view of a patient’s health information, enabling providers to make informed decisions, deliver better patient care and lower healthcare costs. With the rise of wearable and portable medical devices and new medical equipment, healthcare providers are increasingly faced with integrating vast amounts of data into their EMR systems.

The growing demand for wearable and portable medical devices has been driven by factors such as the push to lower healthcare costs with more reliance on telehealth and remote patient monitoring, the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases and the advancements in wearable technology. The growing use of wearable and portable medical devices in various healthcare applications, such as fitness and wellness tracking, disease management and continuous monitoring, is expected to drive the growth of this market further.


EMR Implementation and Connecting Medical Devices

Integrating medical device and equipment data with EMR systems and clinical and analytic solutions poses many challenges. One of the biggest is the compatibility between medical devices, equipment, EMR systems and other solutions. Some devices and equipment may not be directly supported by the EMR system, requiring the development of custom-coded interfaces or using middleware such as interfaces engines to normalize the data so that the receiving system can process it.

Custom-coded interfaces and interface engines are two common approaches for integrating medical devices and equipment with EHRs. While custom-coded interfaces may seem attractive, they also come with several downsides.

The main downside of using custom-coded interfaces is the cost and time required to develop, test, and maintain them. Custom-coded interfaces are usually created from scratch, requiring significant time and resources to build, test and implement. As EHR systems and medical devices evolve, the custom code will likely need to be updated and maintained, which adds complexity.

Another downside of custom-coded interfaces is that they may not be scalable, as they are custom coded for a single EHR system and medical device. If additional medical devices need to be integrated, the custom code will need to be modified, which can be time-consuming and costly. Additionally, custom-coded interfaces may not be able to handle large volumes of data or real-time data transfer, which can impact the accuracy and completeness of the data in the EHR system. Building interfaces to be scalable adds considerable effort to the process.

The second option, utilizing an interface engine, may be a better long-term option. PilotFish offers an Interface Engine solution that simplifies medical devices and equipment integration with electronic health records (EHRs). Unlike many traditional interface engines that require programming, PilotFish is a non-script-driven solution that provides a 7-stage Graphical Assembly Line process that enables the visual configuration of all components without the need for coding.


Medical Device Integration in EHR using PilotFish Platform

Medical Device Workflow Integration Example using PilotFish Middleware


With a full graphical Test Mode complete with error logging and detail, the PilotFish solution enables organizations to test and validate their integrations at any stage of the implementation process. This process eliminates the complexity and variations between interfaces and dependencies on who built the interface, resulting in faster and more efficient integrations. PilotFish uses true graphical drag & drop data mapping to handle even the most complex integrations, making it ideal for organizations of all sizes and technical skill levels. 

PilotFish is also natively “self-documenting,” which allows non-technical staff and those who did not build the interface to perform maintenance and updates. PilotFish users can clone existing interfaces and use them as master templates for multiple integration points, speeding up the implementation process. This process is designed to help set up new trading partners and customers, often in 30 minutes or less, making it a cost-effective and efficient option for organizations that need to integrate with many similar customers.


PilotFish Client Product Quote“Managing the flow of data between disparate information systems and devices remains a critical issue faced by the entirety of the healthcare community. Partnering with PilotFish addresses this interoperability challenge by integrating a best-of-breed integration engine with an advanced technology solution to create a scalable, flexible and cost-effective solution tailored to our clients’ ever-changing needs.”


Vice President, Mobile Healthcare Solutions


Interoperability Supports Medical Device Data Integrity and Analytics

Another challenge for device and equipment makers is ensuring the accuracy and quality of the data, as errors or inaccuracies can have significant consequences for patient care. There may also be privacy and security concerns associated with transferring and storing sensitive health information that needs to be addressed during the integration process. To help ensure security, PilotFish offers 140+ Processors including various types of encryption and decryption. PilotFish also offers a Validation Processor, which allows users to perform validation against an XML input source using a set of defined Rules and Validators.

PilotFish’s solution support organizations along the entire process of integrating medical device and equipment data with EMR systems. Integration typically involves the following steps:

    1. Data Standardization: Because many systems are not interoperable with medical devices and equipment, the first step in the integration process is to standardize the data generated by the devices. Standardization is usually done using standard protocols such as HL7 or FHIR. These protocols define the structure of the data, allowing it to be easily transferred between the medical device and the EMR system.

      PilotFish supports virtually every healthcare standard, including all versions of HL7 2.x, 3.x, DICOM, FHIR and many other commonly used standards. PilotFish has built-in features that make working with the HL7 standard easier and users more productive.
    2. Connectivity: Integration cannot be performed without communication between medical devices and equipment. PilotFish’s solution simplifies this process with nearly four dozen Listener adaptors. Users need only select from a drop-down menu and fill out a few fields in a configuration panel to establish connectivity.
    3. Data Mapping: Once the data is standardized, it needs to be mapped to the appropriate fields in the EMR system. Mapping involves defining the relationships between the data generated by the medical device and the data stored in the EMR system.

      PilotFish offers the most user-friendly data mapper in the industry. A proprietary 3-pane graphical Data Mapper provides a visual and standards-based mechanism for mapping data between any two representations without coding or scripting. It allows for complex mapping rules to be managed with drag & drop and easily handles complex mappings where line drawing tools fall short. The Data Mapper also includes built-in Format Builders that streamline HL7 data mapping, with an HL7 v2.x Format Builder for most HL7 mapping and a lenient HL7 Parser transformation module to manage non-standard messages encountered in healthcare integrations. It also includes an HL7 vocabulary tool right within its graphical IDE. Users can browse the entire HL7 vocabulary within the eiConsole’s Data Mapper.
    4. Testing: Once the data is mapped, it must be tested to ensure that it is accurately transferred and stored in the EMR system. This step is crucial to ensuring that the data is usable by healthcare providers.

      The PilotFish HL7 Interface Engine includes inline end-to-end testing and debugging components to streamline the HL7 interface development process. This component enables developers to perform testing and debugging directly from their workstations, eliminating the need for additional hardware or wait time for compilation and deployment. Here too, PilotFish helps speed up integrations.

      With PilotFish, testing can be done inline, saving time and providing a graphical user interface designed for ease of use. Users can start and stop tests at any stage and view test results and errors in real-time. This feature helps reduce the time spent in the interface development process, making it easier and more efficient.
    5. Implementation: The final step in the integration process is implementing the solution. Implementation involves deploying the integration solution in a production environment and ensuring it works as expected.
    6. Deployment: With PilotFish, deploying interfaces after testing is simple and automated. Users can drag & drop the interface into the PilotFish server panel from the Route File Management screen. PilotFish offers flexible deployment options, as interfaces are represented as XML files that can be managed and deployed through any major change control or build automation framework. This feature allows for efficient and streamlined deployment of interfaces.


PilotFish Client Product Quote“We’ve used PilotFish’s eiConsole since 2012 to quickly develop end-to-end interfaces for our mobile medication management products. The winning combination of their easily-digestible training, simple yet powerful console user interface, and even a repository of existing interface templates made PilotFish an easy decision when we needed to integrate an interface broker solution.“


Director Software Engineering, Software and Medical Equipment


PilotFish Offers Low-Cost Licensing and Bundling Options

Many healthcare organizations rely on in-house interface engines or point-to-point connections to meet their medical device integration needs. However, IT resources are often a significant expense, making PilotFish’s Healthcare Interface Engine solution an attractive option due to its cost-saving productivity benefits.

PilotFish offers restricted-use bundling licenses starting at a low cost and one server can support hundreds of interfaces, making it suitable for large hospitals or multiple smaller facilities. PilotFish is server agnostic, offering you greater flexibility.

We welcome you to explore the Pilotfish eiPlatform Interface Engine (Java Runtime) and the eiConsole for Healthcare (Interface Engine IDE). Our medical device integration case studies, such as Beating Medical Device Market Expectations by Leveraging PilotFish and Medical Equipment EHR Solution,” further demonstrate our solution’s superiority.

Please get in touch with us for more information if you are interested in integrating PilotFish with your medical devices or equipment. We also offer a Value-Added Reseller (VAR) program for those interested in significant cost savings over single end-user licenses.

If you’re curious about the software features, free trial, or even a demo – we’re ready to answer any and all questions. Please call 813 864 8662 or click the button.

HL7 is the registered trademark of Health Level Seven International.
X12, chartered by the American National Standards Institute for more than 35 years, develops and maintains EDI standards and XML schemas.

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