Epic announced with little fanfare that its App Orchard is now officially open for business. And the EHR vendor is inviting third-party developers to highlight their best work, not only with FHIR, but also other open application programming interfaces.
Epic competitors. including Allscripts and Cerner, are also pushing what their top executives describe as a more open approach to data interoperability based on APIs and creating platforms that third-party developers can use to build software.
Verona, Wisconsin-based Epic, in fact, received trademark approval for the App Orchard back in 2015, prior to which the working name for the marketplace was "App Exchange.”
App Orchard will make it simpler for developers to connect customers to Epic and to each other, Epic Senior Vice President Sumit Rana, told Xconomy during HIMSS17. Rana added that more than 1,000 companies had set up connections to Epic’s software.
Epic CEO Judy Faulkner also said at HIMSS17 that the company is developing two new less expensive versions of its EHR and a technology called Kit to make data more open.
Epic is taking the App Store-like approach with Orchard; it also offers a SMART on FHIR developer sandbox for testing applications – and Cerner announced a similar initiative last year ahead of HIMSS16 called code.cerner.com.