Apart from a few hiccups thanks to a surprise winter storm and a less surprising partial government shutdown, the 2019 IHE North American Connectathon kicked off once again on January 19th in the Huntington Conference Center in Cleveland, OH. As in years past, over four hundred system developers and software engineers from the top health IT vendors, medical device manufacturers and public health agencies convened for a week of intensive testing of new and updated interoperability profiles.
This year the Connectathon testing covered almost one hundred different IHE profiles and spanned eight IHE domains: Cardiology, IT Infrastructure, Laboratory, Patient Care Coordination, Patient Care Devices, Pharmacy, Quality/Research & Public Health, and Radiology. Connectathon testing tracks also included supporting public health initiatives like the cancer registry reporting and testing other world class standards from HL7, including over a dozen different Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA) documents.
Another new and exciting offering included the first annual Women in Health IT Meetup in conjunction with HIMSS.
IHE NA Connectathon 2019 - Women in Health IT
In conjunction with this year's conference theme, Innovations in Interoperability, supplementary testing tracks included the following offerings for Connectathon participants to explore:
- IHE ITI Technical Co-Chair Umberto Cappelini demonstrated proof-of-concept testing of the use of Blockchain for health document provenance, specifically using the IHE QEDm/mXDE profiles;
- The Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) team brought their Ring of FHIR Interoperability Testing Platform with several testing tracks (Quality, Consent, Exploratory) for interested parties to try out;
- Sequoia Project made their CCDA Content Validator available through the Gazelle Test Harness.
The Connectathon conference was also jam packed with information this year:
- IHE USA was honored to have ONC's Executive Director of Policy, Steve Posnack, deliver the conference keynote. Conference attendees were able to get a deeper dive into provisions of the 21st Century Cures Act, and how it promises to reshape the healthcare landscape. Mr. Posnack followed his keynote by touring the Connectathon floor with HIMSS CTIO Steve Wretling.
- IHE USA Board Member and Sequoia Project CTO Eric Heflin, presented on the Patient Unified Lookup System for Emergencies (PULSE).
- MIHIN's Wendy Couturier led an interactive and hands-on introductory FHIR PIT Party session.
- HL7's Wayne Kubick presented on Project Gemini along with RSNA Director of Informatics and IHE International Secretariat Chris Carr.
- IHE Technical Co-Chair John Moehrke presented an IHE Technical Committee update and up to date information with regards to IHE on FHIR.
ONC's Steve Posnack on the IHE NA Connectathon 2019
Presentations and slides from the Innovations in Interoperability Connectathon Conference can be found here.
The event would not have been possible without the amazing contributions from staff and volunteers, including our talented group of expert Monitors that joined us from all over the globe - as near as the Cleveland metro area, and as far away as Kolkata, India. The 2019 Connectathon was a great success. We look forward to the European Connectathon in Rennes, France coming up in April.
Don’t forget to save the dates: January 20-24 will be the 2020 IHE NA Connectathon, which promises to be bigger and better than ever!