OSCON’10 Notes

Posted On Mon, 26 Jul 2010 19:41:31 +0000. Filed in HealthVault. By Vaibhav Bhandari.

Over four days from July 20-23, I had great fun connecting 1:1 with a some of the influencers in Healthcare IT and learning about new technologies on the horizon (Asynchronous programming, Scala, Go, Android, ..) at the Open Source Conference in Portland.

_So how did my talk go?
My talk went reasonably smooth, overall I was happy with what I could put together in limited time. According to the polls and some in person conversations people seemed to like the fact that I attempted to break it down with a technical deep dive, especially taking time to go deeper on on-the-wire protocols and standards.

UPDATE: The talk was recorded by Robert Wood Johnson foundation and you can view it online – http://bit.ly/silos-talk-video.

_OSCON Healthcare Track
I attended most of the talks at OSCON HealthCare track. This was the first Healthcare track at the conference, in my opinion it turned out splendid! Andy Oram has a good summary of the first, second & third day, and Fred Totter has links to interviews of some of the presenters. Over the three days of Healthcare track I learnt a lot about various NHIN and VistA projects.

In addition, I attended a few session and a couple of tutorials. I’ll summarize some of them below with key take-away or interesting links :

_Birds of feather session on Healthcare Standards
I participated in the BOF on Healthcare Standards.

The conversation started by highlighting the classic problem of how people who have been in the industry want semantic interoperability and how the new entrants in the area want simple systems. I contribute to this conversation by pointing out that if standards get developed with industrial strength open implementations they are more tend to be more sane (read NHIN-D).

The conversation then drifted towards terminologies. Everyone in the room was outraged with CPT and AMA’s greed J. David Riley (head of NHIN project) added to the conversation saying that ICD-10 procedures are designed to replace CPT. I contributed to the conversation detailing how it’s difficult to develop a coherent system with all the different vocabularies with different licensing requirement and incomplete mappings to each other. David was then gracious to detail a project done in the federal government where they attempted to come up with a common terminology service by inventing something akin to OIDs for each terminology. He is hoping that he can open source those terminologies sometime soon. Brian Bhelendorf then added to the conversation asking how can we enable or create open source terminologies. I was suggested that may be can do something like RxNorm to create a uniform mapping system which the terminology licensors can adopt. There was more discussion on this topic, no one felt that UMLS was adequate.

PS: I’ll update the this post with more links and thought-blocks as I remember :).

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