Getting Started for Developers
The usage guidelines and licensing terms for Blue Button have changed; please see HealthIT.gov while these pages are being updated.
So you’re a software developer interested in creating applications for Blue Button and you want to know where to get started.
Here are some thoughts to consider:
- The Blue Button file is a simple, human and machine readable ASCII format. It can be simply parsed using a one-dimensional semantic parse. Create your own parser today or check out the open source parser developed by PatientsLikeMe
- For more information, visit the PatientsLikeMe blog post
- Consider what kind of service would you like to provide to patients, Veterans, or other Blue Button consumers. Some examples:
- Something that lets patients better view or track changes to Blue Button data and interact with online personal health records
- Something that consumes Blue Button data to help patients achieve health goals or point them to educational resources
- Something that helps users share or upload data elsewhere
- Something that helps clinicians or other organizations (such as employers, in the case of Veterans) do something with Blue Button data after it’s been shared or uploaded
- Keep security in mind. Particularly with health data, privacy is key.
- Use secure download methods.
- Consider how your software will validate the user’s identity and match it to the appropriate patient record
- Make sure users clearly know how they can remediate any privacy or security issues they encounter.
Have questions? We are happy to help. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.