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InterSystems Virtual Summit 2020: Day Three Keynote Recap

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Welcome, by InterSystems Executives

  • Date: October 22, 2020
  • Presenter: Paul Grabscheid, VP of Strategic Planning, InterSystems
  • Overview: Paul Grabscheid welcomed viewers to day three of the first-ever Virtual Summit.

Paul Grabscheid welcomed viewers to day three of Virtual Summit 2020, reminding viewers of Terry Ragon’s message from day one about being an adaptive company in today’s ever-changing world. He recapped the first day’s sessions, reminding us how:

  • Gregg Meyer talked about turning the aircraft carrier on a dime at Mass General Brigham.
  • Fiona Murray presented MIT’s take on what companies can do to stay nimble as they set out on the journey toward innovation.
  • Bruce Walker shared the Ragon Institute’s history of learning from HIV and pivoting to a COVID-19 response with important lessons they learned.

Yesterday’s sessions were around the three elements needed to be an agile enterprise: responsive partnerships, flexible technology, and healthy data. Today’s, Grabscheid stated, will focus on addressing challenges, in addition to where InterSystems is making investments, to help their customers adapt and respond quickly to a dynamic and uncertain environment in the years ahead.

TrakCare Roadmap

  • Date: October 22, 2020
  • Presenter: Dimitri Fane, Director, TrakCare Product Management, InterSystems
  • Overview: Dimitri Fane guided viewers through TrakCare, its newest features, and where it’s headed.

InterSystems’ Global Director of TrakCare Product Management, Dimitri Fane, hosted the day’s first session. Fane began by explaining some of InterSystems’ steps to rapidly responding to changes this year. One such change was converting to a continuous release process by decoupling the TrakCare release cycle from IRIS Data Platform, allowing the TrakCare team to deliver important releases to help customers solve quickly emerging problems on a normal maintenance schedule. For those new to InterSystems, Fane explained that IRIS stands for Intuitive, Reliable, Interoperable, Scalable.

In the midst of change this year, the TrakCare team has continued to focus on user experience as a major priority, which is an area of significant investment and passion for InterSystems.

A sample patient scenario featured a 67-year-old male named Mr. Jones, who just had knee surgery. In this example, the attending physician used a dynamic patient list to short-list patients with deteriorating conditions or surgery earlier the same day that that physician wants to monitor.

TrakCare allows the physician to send messages about Mr. Jones to other care team members through a new integration with Microsoft Teams. The alerts include a link to make it easier and more efficient for the physician’s colleagues to view pertinent information about Mr. Jones in his medical record.

Providers can set up custom filters to find notes in the medical record that are most relevant for them. For example, a clinician can filter to find notes from just the orthopedic surgeons and go directly to the information in those notes.

TrakCare now also includes enhanced graphing features so that providers can more efficiently spot changes over time in lab results, vitals, and other time-series data available in Mr. Jones’ record.

In this example, the clinician notes a downward trend in Mr. Jones’ blood pressure over the past few hours. Combined with other information, she begins to suspect sepsis. The clinician is then able to leverage order sets for fluids, pre-approved antibodies, nursing instructions, and other orders in a matter of a few clicks.

If the clinician works at a facility such as Northwell Health, where a new chatbot solution is available, she can use her smartphone to text a few quick keywords and be notified when Mr. Jones’ lab results are ready. Mr. Jones’ information is also available through the patient Journey Board, which allows care team members to monitor the status of orders, such as for labs, imaging, and specialist consultations.

Fortunately, Mr. Jones recovers successfully and is eventually discharged. At home recovering, Mr. Jones is able to use InterSystems Personal Community to view follow-up care information and schedule new appointments, including virtual visits.

Hospital or clinic staff will have their own Priority Workbench view of upcoming scheduled appointments, and they can review Mr. Jones’ information such as pre-arrival forms that the patient filled out or attached and provided in Personal Community, and launch the virtual visit with Mr. Jones.

TrakCare has now been optimized as a mobile-ready solution and, through a new URL, is available for existing customers across all devices. And while TrakCare is optimized for use with Personal Community, InterSystems recognizes that customers will have specific needs for different scheduling and support software. Thus, they offer APIs to support integration with third-party solutions.

Guest presenters shared screen views and discussed clinical quality monitoring dashboards (which will soon be available), as well as InterSystems’ integration between IRIS and Apple Health.

In addition to these special advances, Fane mentioned that InterSystems has also invested heavily in other key areas of operations, medication management, and revenue cycle management. While today’s presentation could not cover every new development, viewers should know that there is an extensive list of other important work happening at InterSystems to tackle the most pressing problems that customers bring to them.

There will be continued investment in remote and virtual care delivery technologies, as well. The aim is to put resources and expertise into more completely integrated workflows, regardless of care setting. Efforts will be made to continue to keep critical data in TrakCare in one place as well as enable broader, secure access to it in more ways.

Fane invited viewers to attend next week’s sessions for more demonstrations and deeper dives into TrakCare topics for both clinicians and operations personnel.

HealthShare Roadmap

  • Date: October 22, 2020
  • Presenter: Jonathan Teich, MD, Director, HealthShare Product Management, InterSystems
  • Overview: Jonathan Teich discussed InterSystems’ ongoing work prior to COVID-19, and how these projects are progressing in a COVID-19 landscape.

Dr. Jonathan Teich, Director of HealthShare Product Management for InterSystems, talked about InterSystems’ ongoing work prior to COVID-19. This work is on many of the major topics tackled today, including FHIR, adding new data sources quickly, having government-mandated access to data, patient-generated data, and reports & dashboards. While COVID-19 has required most of us to adjust planning, priorities, and operations to effectively respond to our communities, stakeholders, staff, and patients, many important changes and enhancements were, fortunately, already in the works at InterSystems. Today’s session began with InterSystems’ HealthShare Unified Care Record.

InterSystems employs visual indicators that clinicians can quickly hover over while in a patient view to see whether additional information is available from other sources. If additional information or documents are available, the clinician is presented with a brief description of the various kinds through HealthShare. If a provider then determines that this information is useful, they can retrieve it. Clicking through takes the provider to the ClinicalViewer through Single Sign-On, so no additional login steps are required.

In addition to same care team messaging and smartphone-enabled virtual assistance/chatbot services to support the clinician, HealthShare Care Community can be used for care management staff to identify patients’ recent visits in real-time. Care managers use the Care Teams feature to add or remove team members as needed and ensure that everyone is accounted for. Alerts and ongoing notifications are sent to those on the list over time as a patient receives current and future care/follow-up. The suite also enables care team members to collaborate on updating the patient’s care plan.

Patients can then view this and other information through Personal Community. A patient might receive a text about new content available and login to view it. In the example provided today, the patient had a message from the care team, documents to view, and a form to fill out related to managing asthma, which had been sending the patient to the ED more often than might be necessary.

As a patient fills out forms through Personal Community, the submitted information is automatically added to their record and is available to the care team. The patient can also use various built-in applications within Personal Community, some specific to conditions with structured processes that patients can follow and self-report their monitoring input for the care team to view.

Dr. Teich then described the team’s focus on the new CMS rule for interoperability and the Solution Pack that InterSystems unveiled to help customers comply. Patients can use mobile apps to access health insurance information, claims, pharmacy benefit information, and clinical data such as vital, medications, and more from their medical record.

In the example provided today, a patient might use the information presented in the mobile application to help evaluate co-pay amounts for alternate asthma medications. Such information would benefit the patient in their next clinician visit, as they could play a more active role in assessing medication options that fit their budget and can choose a medication they are more likely to continue taking.

InterSystems is releasing new template tools to help organizations more rapidly put information to use. One example is a risk score dashboard through which users can interact with patient populations falling into one of up to four risk categories. Risk scores are based on age, observations, admitting reason, and comorbidities. Presenters guided viewers through the dashboard’s details and ways to filter and drill down into the data.

Customers will also have access to a variety of standard system dashboards to monitor use, performance, and other administrative metrics. Presenters shared screen displays of these dashboards and measurements, as well as a walk-through of the InterSystems Provider Directory, which has been gaining popularity and supports FHIR-based queries for retrieving information from the repository.

Dr. Teich encouraged viewers to return next week for the focus sessions and provided a series of presentation slides organizing upcoming sessions by group. These include:

  • Unifying Records Group – Unified Care Records, Health Connect, FHIR, and HealthShare across the U.S.
  • Data Foundations Group – Single Sign-On, deployment and cloud strategies for UCR or Health Insight, Managed Connections, and Data Quality Framework
  • Patient Engagement Group – ONC and CMS Rules, Personal Community, and External Credentials in Personal Community
  • Advanced Use of Information Group – Health Insight, Extended Decision Support (alerts and notifications), and Intelligent Chart Review
  • COVID-19 Group – Customer innovations related to COVID-19, including how Manifest Medex, InterSystems, and J2 Interactive innovated during the early days of COVID-19
  • Person Management Group – Automating the curation of Provider Directory, Patient Index

Data Platforms Roadmap

  • Date: October 22, 2020
  • Presenter: Jeff Fried, Director, Data Platforms Product Management, InterSystems
  • Overview: Jeff Fried led the day’s final session with a technical overview of the innovations that will support the solutions InterSystems and its customers will deliver tomorrow.

Director of Data Platforms Product Management at InterSystems, Jeff Fried, led the day’s final session with a technical overview of the innovations that will support the solutions InterSystems and its customers will deliver tomorrow. Fried described market changes such as convergence or consolidation of the database market, organizations finally embracing AI and machine learning, increasing demand for self-service data and exploratory analytics, and rapid moves to the cloud as driving a lot of the new work that he and his teams are undertaking. According to Fried, the basics tend to remain the same, but the trends and velocity of change are shifting.

As a reminder, Fried shared that InterSystems is investing in five major priorities:

  • Advanced Analytics & AI
  • Speed, Scalability, & Security
  • Cloud & DevOps
  • Interoperability & IoT
  • Developer Experience

In its desire to respond to customer needs and deliver excellent experiences, InterSystems is embracing top programming languages in addition to SQL and ObjectScript. Because Python has seen a resurgence recently, InterSystems will invest more there. Another goal is to build up resources to support the developer community, which, according to Fried, is only about three and a half years old.

InterSystem expects to continue to foster an ecosystem and developer community that includes open source components to make solutions and services as widely available and useful as possible.

Fried talked about the launch of InterSystems’ “Getting Started” website and set of resources to help new developers accelerate their work and start to see viable solutions delivered faster. Terry Ragon opened Global Summit two years ago with the goal of allowing developers to work in their language of choice. That is now becoming a reality.

Developers can now:

  • Access Globals directly
  • Run ObjectScript class methods
  • Call into IRIS or out from IRIS to code in other languages
  • Leverage Production Extensions (PEX) to access a wide range of IRIS Interoperability components, including connecting to SharePoint directly from ObjectScript

The team has unveiled version 1.0 of InterSystems’ new VSCode-ObjectScript solution. The developer interface features fast tools with syntax coloring, code completion support, dynamic help/quick-pick code, and many other time-saving features.

Support for the new suite is available through all normal channels.

Most major projects today are not built with just one language, so the InterSystems developer solution supports multiple at once. These are familiar tools, working across languages, that run quickly because they leverage ObjectScript.

Fried also discussed API Manager, which was unveiled a year ago. This product is a central place to govern all of your IRIS APIs, and this year, version 1.5 is being released. The version includes a new facility for using Kafka, is easier to use and set up (no more ID copying!), and contains visual tools. The suite also has a Kafka adapter for distributed event streaming and its OPC-UA adapter.

The new tools are easy to deploy and run, and they benefit from a variety of tie-ins, including InterSystems Cloud Manager (ICM), System Alerting & Monitoring (SAM), and InterSystems Kubernetes Operator (IKO).

Fried then introduced the InterSystem IRIS FHIR Accelerator Service, which is expected to help developers spend their time developing and delivering solutions, rather than navigating the nuances of provisioning, healthcare-specific security, high availability, and compliant audit capabilities. The team provided an on-screen demonstration of deploying a FHIR application with 133 FHIR resources available. Governments around the world have made FHIR a standard to accelerate development, and InterSystems wants to enable and support that acceleration with less work and less risk.

Fried and his team of presenters explained that there are numerous roles that professionals fill with different needs and skills. For this reason, InterSystems is committed to delivering broad, flexible solutions that meet professionals where they are. For example, there is a need to build information visualization tools for business users, data products for data science professionals, and smarter applications for developers.

The team transitioned to showcasing Advanced Analytics, which helps data stewards develop calculated measures and naming conventions for data in intuitive ways. It also cleans user interfaces to push to business intelligence users using a variety of preferred tools, including Tableau or Excel.

The final demonstration in today’s session featured IntegratedML. A range of options exists for customers, including Auto-ML for a simpler experience, an open source facility from H2O for those who want to “turn the knobs,” and a more robust set of training and tools through a partnership with DataRobot for data scientist support.

Fried encouraged viewers to find and attend the deep-dive sessions on these topics next week.

Viewers can find more information at their website or email questions to

Watch the Virtual Summit 2020 keynote sessions on-demand!

Read the latest blog posts on PULSE.

About J2 Interactive

J2 Interactive is an award-winning software development and IT consulting firm with projects ranging from technology strategy and best-practices consulting to systems integration, application development, health information exchange, and business intelligence.

J2 is a recognized leader in interoperability solutions for customers of all sizes and has been a trusted InterSystems Implementation Partner since 2004.

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