In part two of our Rhapsody 6.5 announcement blog series, we are taking a closer look at the pillars on which the 6.5 update was built and how these changes embody our commitment to our customers and achieving a higher level of interoperability. The first time you launch Rhapsody 6.5, you’ll immediately notice an updated look and feel; with crisp, new colors and a refreshed logo – a result of our updated branding. While these visual enhancements are the most obvious manifestation of how our status as an independent company is impacting our product, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
As our first go-to-market product as an independent company, we started the development of Rhapsody 6.5 by looking to our customers and what they were asking for. From there we created a four-part strategy that would help guide our organization into the future. Rhapsody 6.5 was developed with the following four pillars in mind:
1. Enhance cross-organizational interoperability: In our experience, many of our customer’s emerging interoperability projects require integration with external parties. Consequently, these integrations involve varied patterns, data flows, and technical standards. To address this challenge we modernized our functionality around IHE Connection participation, FHIR projects, and other standard bodies nationally and globally. As such, users can now benefit from 64-bit DICOM standard support.
2. Simplify interface engine migrations: One challenge our customers regularly face is: how to successfully manage heterogeneous environments containing multiple integration engines. This type of challenge typically arises as a result of a merger or acquisition, departmental use of a point solution, or legacy reasons. Rhapsody 6.5 contains enhanced support for unit testing through APIs which has made the testing process for converted interfaces more robust. Additionally, our new Co-Creation Lab has enabled the development of tools and improved practices for automating interface creation and testing output data of original versus converted interfaces, in conjunction with our existing customers and partners to address their unique challenges.
3. Enable the shift toward the cloud: The healthcare industry has been slow to adopt the shift toward the cloud in comparison to other industries due to an abundance of caution when handling patient data. However, we are reaching a point where this shift is imminent for healthcare and as such we are working to build even more reliable capabilities for our customers as they make the migration. Some of our customers have already embraced the cloud with our Rhapsody as a Service (RaaS) which now also offers the benefit of Rhapsody 6.5. In the coming months, we will be working on HITRUST certification in addition to enhancing our cloud capabilities further. We also plan to offer a more turnkey Integration as a Service capability for customers who prefer to leave the integration to us.
4. Open for partnerships: Innovation within the healthcare IT space increasingly relies on access to data integrated from heterogeneous systems. Rhapsody’s high performing, accurate, and flexible interoperability platform makes us the perfect partner for enabling that capability. Additionally, with its new independent status, Rhapsody as an organization is well-positioned to operate in a partner-friendly mode. We are working with other healthcare IT vendors to bring novel solutions to the market, as well as with our customers in the Co-Creation Lab to develop new solutions using the Rhapsody interoperability platform as the base.
Managing the Rhapsody 6.5 release throughout the many changes the company has undergone in the last nine months has been an incredible but rewarding challenge. As a new and independent company, we immediately immersed ourselves into our new brand, soliciting customer feedback and developing a new product strategy that more closely aligned with our core values. While this was taking place, we were also managing product updates that had already been underway. This created the extremely interesting challenge of prioritizing additional updates, tweaking existing ones, and leaving others out altogether. Rhapsody 6.5 signifies the first step we are taking as a company with this new strategy in mind. We have high hopes for where it will take us next.