Get started with FHIR service

This article outlines the basic steps to get started with the FHIR service in Azure Health Data Services.

As a prerequisite, you'll need an Azure subscription and have been granted proper permissions to create Azure resource groups and deploy Azure resources. You can follow all the steps, or skip some if you have an existing environment. Also, you can combine all the steps and complete them in PowerShell, Azure CLI, and REST API scripts.

Get started with the FHIR service flow diagram.

Create a workspace in your Azure subscription

You can create a workspace from the Azure portal, or using PowerShell, Azure CLI, and REST API. You can find scripts from the Azure Health Data Services samples.

Note

There are limits to the number of workspaces and the number of FHIR service instances you can create in each Azure subscription.

Create a FHIR service in the workspace

You can create a FHIR service instance from the Azure portal, or using PowerShell, Azure CLI, and REST API. You can find scripts from the Azure Health Data Services samples.

Optionally, you can create a DICOM service and MedTech service in the workspace.

Access the FHIR service

The FHIR service is secured by Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) that can't be disabled. To access the service API, you must create a client application that's also referred to as a service principal in Azure AD and grant it with the right permissions.

Register a client application

You can create or register a client application from the Azure portal, or using PowerShell and Azure CLI scripts. This client application can be used for one or more FHIR service instances. It can also be used for other services in Azure Health Data Services.

If the client application is created with a certificate or client secret, ensure that you renew the certificate or client secret before expiration and replace the client credentials in your applications.

You can delete a client application. Before you delete a client application, ensure that it's not used in production, dev, test, or quality assurance (QA) environments.

Grant access permissions

You can grant access permissions or assign roles from the Azure portal, or using PowerShell and Azure CLI scripts.

Perform create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) transactions

You can perform create, read (search), update, and delete (CRUD) transactions against the FHIR service in your applications or by using tools such as Postman, REST Client, and cURL. Because the FHIR service is secured by default, you must obtain an access token and include it in your transaction request.

Get an access token

You can obtain an Azure AD access token using PowerShell, Azure CLI, REST CCI, or .NET SDK. For more information, see Get access token.

Access using existing tools

Load data

You can load data directly using the POST or PUT method against the FHIR service. To bulk load data, you can use one of the Open Source tools listed below.

  • FHIR Loader This is a .NET console app and loads data stored in Azure storage to the FHIR service. It's a single thread app, but you can run multiple copies locally or in a Docker container.
  • FHIR Bulk Loader This tool is an Azure function app (microservice) and runs in parallel threads.
  • Bulk import This tool works with the Open Source FHIR server only. However, it will be available for Azure Health Data Services in the future.

CMS, search, profile validation, and reindex

You can find more details on interoperability and patient access, search, profile validation, and reindex in the FHIR service documentation.

Export data

Optionally, you can export ($export) data to Azure Storage and use it in your analytics or machine-learning projects. You can export the data "as-is" or de-id in ndjson format.

You can also export data to Synapse using the Open Source project. In the future, this feature will be integrated to the managed service.

Converting data

Optionally, you can convert HL7 v2 and other format data to FHIR.

Using FHIR data in Power BI Dashboard

Optionally, you can create Power BI dashboard reports with FHIR data.

Next steps

This article described the basic steps to get started using the FHIR service. For information about deploying FHIR service in the Azure Health Data Services workspace, see

FHIR® is a registered trademark of HL7 and is used with the permission of HL7.