SMART is an acronym for “Substitutable Medical Applications, Reusable Technologies”. Life for SMART began in early 2010 at the Boston Children’s Hospital Computational Health Informatics Program and the Harvard Medical School Department of Biomedical Informatics.

SMART on FHIR is a set of standards that allows healthcare applications to securely access data stored in electronic health records (EHRs).

SMART started with a $15M grant from the ONC with the purpose of building a standard framework that allows the development of “interchangeable healthcare applications”.

The original goal was to enable any developer to create a healthcare application that would work at any healthcare organization, regardless of EHR. A huge focus was placed on the “substitutable” aspect—SMART wanted it to be very easy for providers to try new applications (ie., substitute) so they could easily try multiple solutions and pick what worked best for them.

Here’s a breakdown of its key features:

  • Standardized access: With SMART on FHIR, developers only need to write their application once to connect to any EHR system that uses the standard. This makes it easier for developers to create new healthcare apps and for healthcare providers to adopt them.
  • Security: SMART on FHIR uses a secure authorization process to ensure that only authorized applications can access patient data. This helps to protect patient privacy and security.
  • Interoperability: SMART on FHIR is built on the FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) standard, which is a widely used standard for exchanging healthcare data. This makes it easier for different healthcare applications to share data with each other.

Overall, SMART on FHIR aims to create a more open and connected healthcare ecosystem by making it easier for developers to create innovative new healthcare applications.

Here are some resources where you can learn more about SMART on FHIR: