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Overview

IBM Research - Haifa offers education and services on healthcare and life sciences (HCLS) standards, based on our expertise and continuous involvement in this dynamic field. One of the focal points of this practice is HL7 standards, and in particular the fusion of various flavors of HL7 specifications, such as v2, v3, or the Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) implementation guides, e.g., Consolidated CDA, and in particular the Continuity of Care Document (CCD), the Diagnostic Imaging Report (DIR), and the Genetic Testing Report (GTR). The CDA-based specifications represent a quantum leap in the development methodology for healthcare standards, and are derived from an agreed-upon reference information model, assuring consistency across all specs.

IBM HCLS solutions in general, and in particular those where the Haifa HCLS group is involved, incorporate extensive use of HL7 standards as well as DICOM and IHE integration profiles, such as XDS (Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing).

While HL7, DICOM, and IHE currently represent the bulk of existing healthcare standards, the Haifa group is directing efforts towards studying and implementing new standards. IBM Research – Haifa is involved in harmonizing specifications for European Electronic Health Records (EHR) standards with HL7 specifications. Researchers in Haifa are also involved in implementations of life science standards, such as VCF and GVF for representing DNA sequencing results.

Dr. Amnon Shabo (Shvo), who leads the standardization activities in HRL, is co-chair and modeling facilitator for the Clinical Genomics Workgroup in HL7. He serves as co-editor of the ANSI-approved CDA Release Two standard specification, and is the co-editor of the Continuity-of-Care Document (CCD). He recently led the development of the CDA Implementation Guide for Genetic Testing Report (GTR), published in 2013. Amnon also leads the IBM HCLS Standards Program, coordinating the efforts of all IBMers involved in major HCLS standards. This program is available to all IBMers around the globe.

The Haifa HCLS standards practice includes education and services. It currently offers a variety of education options, such as general lectures on HCLS standards; focused tutorials on specific standard specifications of interest; and extensive workshops focusing mainly on HL7 standards, including hands-on experience using HL7 development tooling. The practice also extends help to IBM employees and IBM customers when dealing with project requirements for HCLS standards compliance. The Haifa practice can help bid/project teams at various levels, from active participation in the requirements phase, through the transfer of skills to the teams, the use of the IBM HCLS solutions, and at the most involved level--the development and customization of software components to meet project requirements.

For more details, please contact Amnon Shabo at: shabo@il.ibm.com.