1st Virtual FHIR DevDays - A Developer's Perspective

Last week, the Dynamic Health IT team (DHIT) attended the FHIR DevDays event hosted by HL7 and Firely. FHIR Dev Days US 2020 was not the first virtual conference we’ve attended. DHIT previously attended the virtual FHIR Connectathon as well as the virtual C-CDA Implementation-a-thon. While those were concise (1-2 days) and fairly interactive, FHIR Dev Days 2020 was more substantial and presentation-oriented. I have a number of takeaways on virtual conferences and hope to hear your thoughts as well.

Compared to an in-person conference, the Dev Days US 2020 team did an incredible job. There were never any questions about where we needed to be or how to get there. The presentations were the same high quality you would expect, covering a broad range of topics across various skill levels, presented by the best industry insiders around.

There were a number of notable sessions that I was able to attend. ONC hosted multiple sessions on the Final Rule. The Data Blocking session was useful to me coming from a developer perspective. Abigail Watson was informative and interesting as always with her presentation on generating randomized patient data using Synthea; there was a timely focus on creating data sets of COVID-19 patients. Brett Marquard's US Core presentation was a useful refresher; and Grahame Grieve's discussion on storing FHIR data using a relational model was informative and confirmed some of our designs. And of course, DHIT’s own Raychelle Fernandez presented her “FHIR the Fax” session about the current state of fax in the industry and what ONC is doing to replace faxing.

Aside from keynotes and closings, there were as many as 5 presentations to choose from at any given time. And even though presentations are all recorded and can be viewed later, we tried to divide our team as much as possible to get the best coverage while our attention was focused on Dev Days.