Interoperability is the form of the interconnectedness of systems and products that facilitates the seamless exchange of information between stakeholders of that system. The broader portrayal of the interoperable network beyond its technical limits expands into social, political, and organizational elements that influence performance within various systems.
The public perception of an interoperable system can vary based on its vision, mission, and goals. That is why we need to step out of the big data industry woods and bury the rhetorics of how interoperability will benefit us all.
Interoperability, if implemented correctly, can be pretty yielding. Yet, if otherwise, it can be the catalyst of monopoly and tyranny. For example, one may foresee interoperability through shared access to silos of big centralized data that many industry leaders possess today. That is the most general approach to interoperability, as we have witnessed through the most recent federal mandates, which have unlocked yet siloed data stored within the extensive information technology industry ownerships. In this scenario, lawmakers mandate patient data be made obtainable via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). However, such an ecosystem necessitates trust among the stakeholders of the system. It is also practical given the limited number of prominent players, thus the cradle for monopolization.
The alternate scenario for interoperability is to build a so-called "Health City" or "Healthcare Marketplace" where every player (be it an individual or an entity), irrespective of their size, sociopolitical, and fiscal leverage, can search, engage, exchange, share health information transparently.
Interoperability streamlined through all healthcare stakeholders' transparent and collaborative participation will build genuine trust. That is a decentralized network of stakeholders that unify the full articulation of patient consent to share their private data with complete execution of interconnectedness by placing every individual entity and patient's information in their own hands. Only then the vision of authentic value-based medical service delivery becomes a reality.
Interoperability Of Proprietary Internal Enterprise Systems Is An Act Of An Information Cartel.
Health information is the property of its patients, just as the physician's clinical decision-making of any medical document belongs to the respective physician. In a single patient encounter, there are always two or more stakeholders. Thus, those stakeholders are the drivers of the interoperability within that encounter. Accordingly, assuming the total data within the corporate data silos as proprietary is inaccurate and considered a monopoly.
The corporate monopoly of interoperability is threatening the healthcare industry altogether. Because big data is a valuable commodity and under the forced mandates, the corporation may allow access to those commodities but highly unlikely would be across the board equally with every stakeholder in the healthcare domain.
“Interoperability without decentralization will only expose us to another corporate corruption, i.e. Big Data monopoly” — Adam Tabriz, MD
The Logical Approach To Interoperability
Increasing adoption of digital health tools by the millennials and, more than ever, demand for a personalized medical care option by generation Z have been two driving factors behind the creation of interoperability initiatives. Logically, that is through the concept of "blockchain interoperability" or the concept of Health city (marketplace), which offers the capability of various blockchain networks to trade health information between one another. Interoperable blockchains within different cities can seamlessly haul a variety of digital assets between the networks' respective blockchains without breaching the proprietary internal enterprise systems.
Decentralizing data ownership within the healthcare marketplace facilitates security and privacy interoperability through fiscal incentives. The form of multifaceted stimuli expands from the reduced physician burden, lower cost, and fully engaged patients to the retainment of data-driven dollars within the ambiance of high-quality healthcare and fairer access to medical care.