· Sep 17, 2016

What's the difference between HealthShare and Ensemble?

Hello All, 

I'm new and learning about Intersystems products. So I'd like to know what's the difference between Ensemble and HealthShare?

As far as I can see, looks like HealthShare uses Ensemble and could perform everything Ensemble does. 

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HealthShare built with Ensemble and Cache. HealthShare appeals to RHIOs, HIEs, providers, payers and managed care organizations, health information networks. Developers use InterSystems HealthShare® to share health information, collaborate for better, safer care, and to create innovative solutions to healthcare challenges.

It's a little dated but look at

Ensemble is a platform supporting a diverse set of applications, not just healthcare.  See:

Tom Fitzgibbon | 347-464-8531

That being said I wonder what ISC strategy/policy will be in the future.

Cache and Ensemble are in the 'Platform division', HealthShare in the 'Healthcare division'.

HL7v2 is traditionally supported by Ensemble that won't change, but the rumour is that all health related features and products will be in HS only (e.g. FHIR).

Does this mean that health related Ensemble implementations will have to upgrade to HS eventually ?

Hi Leonardo,

That's a great question and I'm happy to answer it for you. 

As many of our long-time customers are aware, Ensemble predates HealthShare by several years. Ensemble gained popularity in the healthcare market, in large part, because of its capabilities around the HL7 V2 standard, DICOM, X12, etc. 

Initially, HealthShare was a single product targeted to customers establishing Health Information Exchange infrastructures. As the capabilities of the solution grew over time, HealthShare changed from a single product to a family of solutions under the HealthShare name. In the process of developing these solutions, we had to add a lot of support for more modern interoperability standards such as HL7 CDA, CCDA, IHE Profiles, and HL7 FHIR. Those features and the underlying frameworks they rely on are only present in HealthShare solutions and are not available in Ensemble. Other healthcare specific features were also added to the platform to increase the value of the offering to our healthcare customers. The currently available products in the HealthShare platform are:

  • HealthConnect - Healthcare integration solution
  • AppServer - Connected healthcare application development platform
  • Information Exchange - Health Information Exchange platform
  • Patient Index - Master Patient Index
  • Health Insight - Data analytics and population health tools
  • Personal Community - Patient Portal
  • Provider Directory - Healthcare provider and organization directory (Coming in 2017)

If you are a new customer in the healthcare vertical, you will be looking at one of the HealthShare solutions listed above and not Ensemble.

HealthShare products are built on top of Caché and Ensemble and HealthShare inherits the capabilities of those products. However, there are some differences in licensing and appropriate use between Caché/Ensemble and HealthShare. I will not get into those details in this post but your account team can help to clarify those details for you. 

If you are an existing Ensemble customer, the HealthShare analog to your current product will be either HealthConnect or AppServer depending on your use case. Some Ensemble customers have migrated to HealthShare; if you have any questions about this, please contact your InterSystems account team for further details. 

Matthew Spielman
Senior Product Manager, HealthShare
One Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142-1358
United States

Great answer.  I work at an HIE, how come I've never heard of most of the "products"?  Besides Patient Index, all these other things are new to me.  Where can I find more info on the "Information Exchange" product?  Can you purchase/implement these items separately or are they dependent upon each other?  Where does the Clinical Viewer fit into this?  How is Health Insight different that DeepSee?

Hi Scott, you are already an Information Exchange customer; this is the core HIE product used by MHC. The Clinical Viewer is a feature of the Information Exchange product. Health Insight utilizes DeepSee but also has a number of pre-built analytics cubes and has a lot of special functionality to automate the ETL of data from Information Exchange. 

Health Connect, App Server, and Provider Directory are stand-alone products although Provider Directory will be able to integrate more tightly with Information Exchange in a future release. Personal Community and Health Insight require Information Exchange.

If you have more detailed questions about any of the products or would like to arrange a demo, please reach out to your account team and they will be happy to help you.