With Developer Center ForHealth, AT&T looks to enable the development of health care applications that can connect to clinical data.
More than 17,000 mobile
health applications are on the market, yet they're not compatible with each
other. To resolve this problem, AT&T is planning to hook up these
proprietary tools. The company has launched a beta version of a cloud developer
portal called Developer Center ForHealth to allow these mobile apps to be
accessible by hospital systems and medical peripherals.
The Developer Center will
consist of an open set of developer tools and infrastructure to help health
care organizations deploy and manage mobile health apps. Software producers can
access the Developer Center at mhealth.att.com.
ForHealth, the health care
practice AT&T launched
, will oversee the Developer Center.
AT&T also formed
Development Center ForHealth through the AT&T Foundry, a unit that fosters
innovation in applications, devices, cloud computing, enabling technologies and
The Developer Center also
API gateway and mobile
client that developers can embed into third-party applications, allowing them
to link to each other, as well as to medical devices and peripherals. Through
the API gateway, applications will be able to link to blood pressure cuffs,
weight scales and other devices.
While 500 million people are
expected to be using mobile health apps worldwide by 2015, many of todays apps
can't connect to clinical workflows, said Eleanor Chye, executive director of
mobile health care and pharma at AT&T.
"We're going to create the common pipes through which data will
flow," she told eWEEK
will provide a free software development kit (SDK).
By using AT&T's tools,
developers will be able to create both mash-up and umbrella applications to
make these apps compatible, Chye said. Through the Developer Center, IT
professionals designing applications will be able to create GUIs to allow
doctors and patients to access information such as lab reports or electronic
prescriptions in various formats, she added.
The developer kit will
enable developers to install soft keys in applications to allow individuals to
manage their health care data, Chye said.
"The AT&T Developer
Center ForHealth is fundamental to our m-health strategy, as we plan to use the
same infrastructure and services that we make available to developers to create
our own interconnected health care applications focused on mobile patient care
and enterprise mobilization," Chris Hill, vice president of advanced
mobility solutions at AT&T Business Solutions, said in a statement.
Proprietary mobile health
apps are like "stand-alone electronic log books," AT&T reported.
In addition, AT&T is
working on creating a data-integration engine to link apps to data systems for
hospitals, physicians and health insurers.
"We're creating an
ecosystem where they can easily utilize an open environment to build apps that
transmit consumers' data from a variety of sources in a highly secure
manner," said Hill.
AT&T will collaborate
with partners, such as health IT conference organizers HIMSS and Health 2.0, on
hackathons and codeathons to get the development community to test the
Developer Center tools, said Chye.
The company will also
collaborate with health care IT startup accelerator Rock Health
on developer boot camps.
With a need to invest in HIPAA
(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)-compliant data storage,
hospitals find it costly to get applications connected, Chye said. She noted
that connecting mobile health tools and using them with patients could cost
hospitals $3,000 per application.