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Version: 13.x (Current)

File Management

The FHIR Adapter allows you to upload and download files to a FHIR Server. The service is able to manage files following the FHIR standard transparently to the user.


Here you can find information to understand how the FHIR standard deals with files.


This service exposes several APIs, useful to upload, delete or download the files, described in details in the next paragraphs.


To upload a file to the FHIR Server, via FHIR Adapter, you have to perform a POST request to a special route called /DocumentReference with a multipart body, containing the file to upload. In addition to the file, you can specify other properties:

  • name: the name associated to the file. Please note that this is not the filename automatically associated by the file system. It is an additional name that describe the file (for example, inserted by the user).
  • date: the date associated to the file.
  • subject: it is the identifier of the subject related to the file. For example, it can be the identifier of a patient.

Please note that if you specify a subject to link to the file, this subject must exists in the context of the FHIR Server. In other words, the subject resource have to be previously created.

Here you can find an example request for file upload:

POST /DocumentReference HTTP/1.1
... other headers ...
Content-Type: multipart/form-data; boundary=----WebKitFormBoundaryePkpFF7tjBAqx29L

Content-Disposition: form-data; filename="my-file-1.pdf"
Content-Type: application/pdf

... file content here ...
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="name"
Content-Type: text/plain

File name
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="date"
Content-Type: text/plain

Content-Disposition: form-data; name="subject"
Content-Type: text/plain


In case of success, the response is a JSON with the following fields:

  • _id: unique FHIR identifier
  • name: original file name
  • file: the name of the file in the file system
  • size: size in bytes of the uploaded file
  • location: the URL that can be used to download the file using the same server that performed the upload


To download a file that was previously uploaded to the FHIR Server, via FHIR Adapter, you have to perform a GET request with the _id of the file as path parameter.


curl --request GET \
--url http://your-url/DocumentReference/:id


The deletion of a file from the FHIR Server follows the procedure explained in the API Endpoints section.