🔌 Real world healthcare software testing

We attended HL7 FHIR's September Connectathon equipped with CDS services powered by Sero

Automate Medical builds dev tools to make launching in health easy. For that reason, we were excited to participate in HL7’s 28th FHIR Connectathon last week. Connectathons are the place for healthcare dev teams to test new tools and health standards together.

We came prepared to test Sero - our open source TypeScript toolkit for health projects (give us a GitHub star if you can). We've been building Sero in public to help devs build on top of FHIR, CDS Hooks, and SMART.

One of the ways that we can prove that Sero can be used to build great healthcare applications that support the best interoperability technologies is to test Sero with EHR providers that attend these Connectathons.

So, this week, we fired up a couple of CDS services built with Sero and headed to our first Connectathon.

Milestones: hit

New data standards - in this case, CDS Hooks - allow us to deliver push notifications inside of supported client applications using structured health data for the first time. Epic, the largest EHR and health record provider, not only support it but had a representative at the Connectathon with a client ready for testing.

We brought a pair of services: a service that displays basic patient information, and a service that can be used to fill a prescription and change it based on price. Over two days, we attended two standups, where we connected with other service providers and chatted with other attendees, tested out our services with Epic, and demoed our working services at a touchpoint.

The first milestone was displaying basic patient information - in this case, a patient’s name and status - in Epic's EHR.

The second milestone was displaying drug prices from a popular consumer API when doctors are writing prescriptions. With Sero, this takes just 40 lines of code.

Things we learned

One of the great things about the Connectathon is that you get to test out your tools with other developers and company representatives, so it's a good place to learn and make some mistakes. Going in, we knew that testing our Services in a sandbox environment might not translate easily to an actual EHR. And, we were right.

But, Epic's team lead for CDS Hooks helped guide us on the right path. From necessary information, to what information we had to check for, to formatting, we were able to confirm that Sero really works, and can be used to connect to a major client in a ridiculously simple way.

Big picture

When we launched our PFT extractor back in June, we talked about the interoperability of healthcare records and data being one of the biggest problems in healthcare today.

Our mission since then has been to build the healthcare technology stack of tomorrow, with interoperability and FHIR at its core. Sero is our first major step in that direction.

The Connectathon proved something: with just a few lines of code, and Sero, you can launch a CDS Hooks compliant service that works with the largest provider of structured healthcare data in the world.


Does making pulmonary function tests computable excite you? How about the health technology stack of the future? We’d love to hear from you at founders@automatemedical.com if you’re excited about these things.