Four days, eleven people, one goal: The Rennes (France) venue for this year's IHE Connectathon between April 8 and April 12, 2019. We were there, as usual. This year even with a full strength 'soccer team'.
For the first time, not only VISUS developers made their way to the test marathon, but their colleagues from project management too. And for a good reason: Knowledge of the options and use of the IHE profiles has become a standard professional repertoire for everyone involved in the development of sustainable healthcare IT solutions, as well as for those who implement innovative IT projects. In this respect, the IHE Connectathon is no longer just a development and testing platform for our products, but also for our colleagues. For example, our Connectathon team included Nina Beitz, currently a student assistant at VISUS who is testing the profiles, something which she will continue in her master's thesis.
XDS & FHIR Still in Focus
But of course the main protagonists in the Connectathon were once again the numerous IHE profiles, their adaptation in practice and testing with other systems. VISUS was particularly interested in the following questions: What new profiles are there and do they offer any benefits for the JiveX products? How ready are certain profiles for practice? How operationally stable are the implementations of new profiles in product prototypes? And of course: How well are existing profiles implemented in our products and how well does JiveX communicate with other systems?
One focus of this year's event – as in the previous years – was IHE-XDS and the associated spectrum of products. The Connectathon offered an opportunity to re-test and validate the XDS components already included in JiveX in a multi-vendor environment. In addition, we initially tested the IHE RMD (Remove Metadata and Documents) profile in a trial implementation. The profile is used to consistently delete data within an XDS scenario – one task that XDS cannot perform. Incidentally, the trial implementation went so well that it attracted our competitors' attention.
Another focus was on the FHIR standard which in many respects is still not mature enough to be used in products. The FHIR-based profiles have not been released by the IHE because they still require changes. The bottom line is that there is still a lot of work to do before FHIR reasonably finds its way into practical use.
Innovations in Radiology
VISUS, of course, focused on the radiological profiles. In addition to the standard set that we regularly check for its stability, we successfully tested the Encounter Based Imaging Workflow profile (IHE EBIW) this year. This specifies how sonographic ad hoc examinations can subsequently be integrated into the patient context and clinical workflows.
Tests on IHE-IUA (Internet User Authentication) – the profile for secure authentication via the server in the case of data transmission – were also successful. And, brand new, IHE WIA (Webbased Image Access). In the future, WIA will be able to access images via the Web technologies and, as it were, transfer the demands that are implemented on stationary workstations with DICOM to the image exchange on mobile terminals.
All in all, we were delighted with our team's success and the tests which netted us a total of 47 stars. Aside from the Connectathon, we also succeeded in:
- rescuing a smartphone from a French sewage system
- doing a few jogging sessions on the River Ille
- having a few social gatherings around a games board
We are already looking forward to next year!