Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Is The Telstra eHaaS Obsolete Before It Is Even Implemented - One Wonders.

I published a blog last week on the eHaas.
You can review this blog here:
Specifically I wrote this:
“My other reaction is what is said regarding the Common Information Model (CIM) sounds very ambitious and rather ahead of what I understand to be the ‘state of the art’. There is a long history of such initiatives taking a very long time to reach their objective - if ever!”
An e-mail I had during the week from Thomas Beale confirmed my worst fears:
“There are other problems with eHaas. It's based on the HL7 RIM, which dead now. It appears they have not done their domain research.”
Tom also provided a link to some commentary he has written in the area of sematic overreach:

RDF for universal health data exchange? Correcting some basic misconceptions…

Something called the “Yosemite manifesto on RDF as a Universal Healthcare Exchange Language” was published in 2013 as the Group position statement of the Workshop on RDF as a Universal Healthcare Exchange Language held at the 2013 Semantic Technology and Business Conference, San Francisco. Can such grand claims be true?
I’m not sure if either the slide above or the original reference are reliable at the moment, so I’ll reproduce the text here:
  1. RDF is the best available candidate for a universal healthcare exchange language.
  2. Electronic healthcare information should be exchanged in a format that either: (a) is an RDF format directly; or (b) has a standard mapping to RDF.
  3. Existing standard healthcare vocabularies, data models and exchange languages should be leveraged by defining standard mappings to RDF, and any new standards should have RDF representations.
  4. Government agencies should mandate or incentivize the use of RDF as a universal healthcare exchange language.
  5. Exchanged healthcare information should be self-describing, using Linked Data principles, so that each concept URI is de-referenceable to its free and open definition.
I’m sure the signatories’ hearts are in the right place, but unfortunately the universal claims made here don’t stand up to scrutiny.
The basic claim is that we should all be using RDF for healthcare data exchange, or else a format that can map to it. I’ll quote the justification for this (my bolding):
Lots more here:
Again we are seeing people suggest that things are simple and straightforward when those who have been in the game for a long time know the absolute opposite is true.
You only have to visit Tom’s blog (link above) or Grahame Grieve’s blog ( to see just how complex and difficult things actually are!
While I can’t prove it, I suspect the difficulties I and these other commentators note are a good part of the reason why real progress in e-Health seems to be so hard - and equally why the PCEHR Review is really struggling to work out anything like a sure fire way to actually fix the system.
All this is a lot harder than most think!

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