SMART: Tech Stack for Health Apps

SMART on FHIR is a set of open specifications to integrate apps with Electronic Health Records, portals, Health Information Exchanges, and other Health IT systems. You get…

Clean, structured data: FHIR

Easy-to-use, resource-oriented REST API for structured clinical data. Grab a resource with:

$ curl \
       -H 'Accept: application/json'
  "resourceType": "Patient",
  "active": true,
  "name": [{
      "use": "official",
      "family": ["Coleman"],
      "given": ["Lisa","P."]
  "gender": "female",
  "birthDate": "1948-04-14",

Scopes and permissions: OAuth2

When an EHR user launches your app, you get a “launch request” notification. Just ask for the permissions you need using OAuth scopes like patient/*.read and once you’re authorized you’ll have an access token with the permissions you need – including access to clinical data and context like:

  • which patient is in-context in the EHR
  • which encounter is in-context in the EHR
  • the physical location of the EHR user

Simple sign-in: OpenID Connect

If your app needs to authenticate the EHR end-user, OpenID Connect is there to help. Just ask for one additional scope (openid) when you request authorization, and you’ll have access to a UserInfo endpoint that exposes structure claims about the user, including name and NPI.

Lightweight UI integration: HTML5

Need to hook your app into an existing EHR user interface? SMART on FHIR allows web apps to run inside browser widgets or inline frames, so users can interact without leaving the EHR environment. Of course, native and mobile apps are supported too – so you can choose the level of integration that makes sense for you.

The SMART on FHIR API is evolving in parallel with the FHIR ballot releases. If you spot problems, please file an issue. Or better yet, you can edit this page.