NHS Digital has announced that it plans to launch a new open application programming interface (API) lab in partnership with the INTEROPen collaborative.
The initiative will bring together developers from the industry and NHS Digital to speed up developments of open source APIs.
This will improve integration between the NHS and social care, says NHS Digital, addressing problems around information exchange for clinicians and patients.
The lab will be located in Leeds and it is expected that contributors will work on a pro bono basis.
All the APIs developed will be open source, building on the FHIR standards from HL7, and they will be made available through an open source licence.
NHS Digital says the lab will open towards the end of this year, with interested parties invited to get involved in order to shape governance principles.
Richard Kavanagh, Head of the initiative at NHS Digital, said: "I'm really excited by the API Lab's potential to drive forward work on a number of significant open source APIs. By partnering with INTEROPen we will be able to create APIs even faster, delivering real benefits for the health and care system.”
INTEROPen brings together individuals, representatives from the industry, standards organisations and health and care providers that want to accelerate development of open standards for interoperability in the field, focusing on data exchange and validation and defining APIs.
The INTEROPen board said the new lab will help the community build the ‘methodology for taking a service need through to first of type implementation using open standards adopted by supplier members’.