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201809 FHIR Storage and Analytics

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Return to Fall 2018 Proposals

Previous tracks:

Track Name

FHIR Storage & Analytics ([1])

Track Overview

With this track we want to put together people, which are interested in implementation and usage of FHIR persistence layer, implementing FHIR servers on top and analysing FHIR data.

We hope this group can produce useful feedback for FHIR community and potentially propose new aspects for standard - like SQL on FHIR or FHIRPath for databases.

Another goal is to collect solutions and best practices to store and query FHIR data, using popular databases.

Please fill out: TODO [TODO Track Registration Spreadsheet]

Submitting WG/Project/Implementer Group

We want to create S&A working group or FHIR Foundation Project.


Initial set of questions to be answered or discussed

  • How we can organise our FHIR Foundation Project?
  • How to store FHIR data?
  • What is database schema design?
  • SQL (as common query language) on FHIR
  • FHIR data representation for storage
  • FHIRPath subset for databases
  • How to approach FHIR search?
  • Best practices for popular databases (postgresq, spark, mongo, bigquery etc)?

Proposed Track Lead

Nikolai Ryzhikov


  • Ryan Brush (Cerner)
  • Patrik Sundberg (Google)
  • Kenny Blanchette (Athena Health)
  • Nikolai Ryzhikov & Mike Lapshin (Health Samurai)


  • Database Provider: provides access to database with FHIR data
  • Database User: design queries



Initial notes for creating a standard representation of FHIR that is directly usable in scalable SQL-based systems.

Original document by Ryan Brush -

Github repo -

FHIR data representation in database

JSON and other JSON like formats like yaml, edn, avro, protobuf are very popular in avantе-garde of programmers, some modern databases now could understad JSON as first-class data-structures, that’s why we think, good design for it is strictly required for FHIR adoption.

Original github -

FHIRPath subset for databases

It worth to discuss subset of FHIRPath, which is implementable in databases

Issue to discuss -


Scenario: Bulk Loader

Implement and demonstrate bulk loader script for your specific database.

  • Provide Bulk Loader for your specific database to easily and efficiently load data from FHIR server thro Bulk API into db.
  • Loader for Mitre Synthea ( - where source is file system as synthea generate.
  • Loader for FHIR examples - zipped dir of resources and bundles in json

Discussion at