A GraphQL approach to Healthcare Information Exchange with HL7 FHIR

Abstract

Interoperability is accepted as a fundamental necessity for the successful realization of Healthcare Information Systems. It can be achieved by utilizing consistent standards defining syntactic and semantic meaning of the information being exchanged. HL7 FHIR is one of such open standards for Health Information Exchange (HIE). While HL7 FHIR supports Representational State Transfer (REST) architecture and Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) for seamless information exchange, it inherits the inflexibility and complexity associated with the RESTful approach. GraphQL is a query language developed by Facebook that provides promising techniques to overcome these issues. In this paper, we exploit the use of GraphQL and HL7 FHIR for HIE; present an algorithm to map HL7 FHIR resources to a GraphQL schema, and created a prototype implementation of the approach and compare it with a RESTful approach. Our experimental results indicate that the combination of GraphQL and HL7 FHIR-based web APIs for HIE is performant, cost-effective, scalable and flexible to meet web and mobile clients requirements.

Publication
Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Emerging Ubiquitous Systems and Pervasive Networks / the 9th International Conference on Current and Future Trends of Information and Communication Technologies in Healthcare
Date