FHIR, the future of health exchanges


Interoperability and HL7 FHIR

Nowadays, the need to exchange health data and easily exploit them is increased. In the context of connected monitoring, the covid-19 pandemic is the first indicator. 


It is in the interest of software tools to be at the forefront of the latest developments in interoperability to ensure simplified communication and synchronization of useful information for patient follow-up.


To learn more about interoperability, read our dedicated article.

In this context, the Hl7 (health level 7) standard, especially in its2nd version, is already very widespread and can meet a large number of use cases thanks to its concept of events and flexible file structure.

However, some use cases are still missing for HL7 v2 and this is where the HL7 FHIR standard comes in.


The word FHIR® is an acronym for :

  • F - Fast
  • H - Healthcare
  • I - Interoperability
  • R - Resources

It is a new method in interoperability for health, fast to implement and based on resources, thanks to modular components logically divided (patient, stays, circle of care, care plan, ...). 


FHIR® is actually the4th version of the HL7 format. Released in 2014 and taking the experience gained from the implementation of previous versions by adding the notion of resource and a WEB/API layer, it promises to facilitate and accelerate health data exchange.

The resources resources are linked and dependent and can be assembled to trace an event in the patient's follow-up. In the same way, we can schematize the reconciliation of data between the usual HL7 v2 format and the HL7 v4 format presented as resources.

Specifications FHIR® SPECIFICATIONS specifications include just under 150 resources resources that cover 80% of the needs. 80% of the needs. They are distinguished from other standards by their flexibility of use. These resources can be supplemented by local extensions defined by users for a specific need or by national extensions produced by expert organizations (Interop'Santé in France, ehealth in Belgium).

The uses of FHIR in the world of health

FHIR® is already used by the largest international companies entering the health market, such as Apple, Google or Microsoft.


While FHIR has the potential to significantly improve current exchanges and introduce a new implementation logic, leveraging health data silos, there is one important requirement. FHIR needs to be more globally proposed by tools to be implemented in healthcare facilities as HL7 v2 was able to do. Even if this often requires a migration or transformation of flows already in place.


In France, it is recommended in specific usage frameworks established by theAgence du Numérique en Santé in the Cadre d'Interopérabilité des Systèmes d'Information de Santé(CI-SIS):

  • Shared agenda management component
  • Circle of Care Component
  • Liaison book component
  • Mobile health document sharing component
  • Event notification section
  • Event tracking component

FHIR® will also be used to exchange health data with national patient spaces such as Mon espace santé in France and the Electronic Patient Record in Switzerland.

The uses of FHIR at exolis

On the exolis side, our global data integration and storage logic is already based on that of FHIR and we manage several resources allowing in particular:

  • Managing the circle of care
  • Submission of drug data forSection 51 
  • Sending out completed questionnaires by a patient

We are always looking for new needs to implement with FHIR®.

With this in mind, we participated in the Projectathon organized by the ANS from March 14 to 16, 2022, during which we validated our use of the circle of care with the healthcare publishers SIB and Enovacom.


We are also seeing an increasing number of start-ups or new software products choosing to launch using FHIR natively in their applications.

It is therefore a format destined to take an important place in the world of e-health and we are available to accompany you in this deployment.