openEHR 2014 Roadmap Meeting, Sep 16/17, Oslo

Last week saw the first major face-to-face international openEHR community meeting, which took place in Lilletstrom, near Oslo, at premises kindly organised by DIPS asa, openEHR Industry Partner and major EHR supplier in Norway.


The remaining hard core at end of day 2 (photo: Dr Shinji Kobayashi)

We had 32 participants from vendors including DIPS asa, Cambio Healthcare Systems, Code24Marand, Ocean Informatics, Raysearch Labs, as well as Erik Sundvall (Linkoping University, Sweden), Gunnar Klein (Professor of eHealth, Informatics Section, Örebro University School of Business), attendees from Oslo University Hospital, Furst Medical Laboratories, Helse-Bergen (Bergen regional health org), as well as Shinji Kobayashi (Kyoto University), David Moner (Polytech University, Valencia), and Luis Marco-Ruiz, who organised the great Tromso openEHR conference earlier this year. I know Koray Atalag (University of Auckland) and some others were listening in.

We had two days of excellent discussions, ranging over specifications, governance, tooling, archetype development and many other topics. Detailed notes from the meeting can be found here on the openEHR wiki. Updates about openEHR in various countries can be found here.

We discussed a major new effort we are calling the ‘Industry Sprint‘, which is an archetype development to create 69 upgraded / new archetypes in roughly a 4 month period – the list of new archetypes is here. This is of great importance to industry, since there are now reliable implementations of openEHR, clinical content modelling needs to catch up. Drs Heather Leslie and Ian McNicoll will act as the managing editors of this activity.

We also brainstormed the conformance approach for openEHR, something we need to enable procurement and purchasers to have confidence in quality. This will be developed in the coming weeks to a definite framework for ongoing use – i.e. a concept of conformance levels, profiles etc.

Some of the meeting’s proposed actions:

  • convert the openEHR specifications to an ASCII format that is easier for people to work with; initial candidate: a toolchain based on AsciiDoc
  • promote the Guideline Definition Language (GDL) specification developed by Rong Chen / Cambio to a proper openEHR specification
  • we will rename the current ADL 1.5 late draft specification to ADL 2.0, since it has breaking changes with respect to ADL 1.4, and we will then reverse-engineer compatible ADL 1.5, 1.6, etc
  • commence a next generation Archetype tool workbench development project, open source, fully project managed as an open project including openEHR, CIMI, 13606 and any other developers interested;
  • a technical group mainly from the vendors will develop a conformance framework based on the initial brainstorm above;
  • major improvements to website and general web presence (notes here);
  • a technical group will be formed to work on an architectural approach for integrating openEHR with FHIR, IHE and other major industry standards (e.g. Apple’s new initiative);
  • various governance and membership issues need to be clarified.

As it turned out, we could have spent another two days on working over these and many other issues (localisation, 13606, training materials…), but it was a great start. A proper statement will be issued by the meeting in the next few days that provides a clear summary of observations, positions, and proposed actions, which will of course be publicly available.

If you are tracking openEHR, CIMI or ISO 13606, you will undoubtedly see various activities taking shape in the coming months. If you are interested in these developments please visit the website and / or mailing lists. It was great to see so many at the meeting, and we look forward to more international working meetings, as well as meetings for local openEHR affiliates and project groups.

One thing to remember: openEHR at any point is the product of what the community wants it to be at any point. Being involved means being able to influence that.

About wolandscat

I work on semantic architectures for interoperability of information systems. Much of my time is spent studying biomedical knowledge using methods from philosophy, particularly ontology and epistemology.
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