The eHealth Exchange has unique roots and began as a federal program initiative under the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), which helped to incubate it as part of the NwHIN efforts. The eHealth Exchange is now supported by The Sequoia Project and has blossomed into a rapidly growing community of exchange partners.
Consider what happened with the DICOM protocol, radiology industry agreed the same image protocol to exchange radiological images through different platforms: High Resolution images flowing through the network, available also for post-processing tasks.
This harmonization generated a branch industry from scratch: Carestream, GE Healthcare, Philips as well as Siemens Healthineers: eHealth Exchange is doing the same, put in place a kind of standard to share healthcare information accordingly.
Thinking future applications, an enourmous amount of healthcare data could be used for analysis via Deep Learning AI (Artificial Intelligence) to identify inferences not visibile to humans: diseases clusterization, possible risk causes and trends, the applications could be incredible.
From a patient stand point, the advantage of a common health data protocol could be the possibility to access to any of the health information, collected in different facilities, avoiding any possible missing data: give to your own phisician access to your own data automatically, without taking old-fashioned CD could be fantastic.
I do think we’ll hear soon news from InterSystems whcih has the technological capabilities to reach the goal.