Former ONC leader Rucker joins interoperability startup 1upHealth

health data charts
1upHealth is an interoperable, cloud-based FHIR platform that is unifying clinical and claims data to help organizations meet compliance regulations, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources API rule. (Getty/nevarpp)

Health IT industry veteran Donald Rucker, M.D. is joining the leadership team at interoperability startup 1upHealth.

Rucker, who served as the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology under the Trump administration, is jumping on board 1upHealth as its new chief strategy officer. The Boston-based company, founded in 2017, structures claims and clinical data to make it easier for organizations to share information.

As CSO, Rucker will help set the direction for 1upHealth’s ongoing innovations in Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR)-enabled computing and help healthcare organizations meet the evolving clinical, technical and reimbursement demands for modern data, according to the company.

Rucker will spearhead the company's work to help providers, payers and app developers aggregate and use health data. He'll draw on his experience developing the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's (ONC's) 21st Century Cures Act final rule to drive the company's continued innovations in FHIR exchange and help industry stakeholders modernize health data infrastructure.

RELATED: Past, current ONC chiefs: Bipartisan work, industry collaboration yields successful health IT policy

“I am excited to join 1upHealth because the team has built a unique software portfolio to provide customers scalable FHIR services with modern, computable architecture that will help link payers, providers, and the rapidly expanding healthcare app economy, all to give patients new and better care while securely protecting their privacy,” Rucker said in a statement. “The future of healthcare depends on broader access to standardized, normalized and highly computable data, enabling quality improvement and, ultimately, transforming the industry.”  

A board-certified physician, Rucker has practiced emergency medicine in four states and was Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's first full-time attending in the emergency department. During his time as national coordinator at the ONC, he led the development and issuance of ONC’s 21st Century Cures Act final rule which supports patient access and interoperability of health data.

Rucker brings the unique perspective of a physician, software engineer, product developer, and policy leader at the highest levels, and few people in the world have this breadth of experience and understanding of the industry," said Ricky Sahu, CEO and founder of 1upHealth, in a statement.

1upHealth is an interoperable, cloud-based FHIR platform that is unifying clinical and claims data to help organizations meet compliance regulations, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services FHIR API rule.

The 1upHealth platform computes on FHIR data and connects customers to an ecosystem of payers, providers, app developers, patients, and biopharma. The company's platform also normalizes and aggregates data to be used accurately, and at scale, with a growing set of higher-level services on top of FHIR including smart search, batch loading and sophisticated end-user management, according to the company.

1upHealth recently raised $25 million in series B funding. The company's customer portfolio includes industry giants like Aetna and Cigna.