Sarah Knoop Provides an Open Healthcare Framework Update

I think we also owe this list [Open Healthcare Framework Mailing list] a summary too – though IHE-related activity has been quite active on the newsgroup – so check that out too.

Over the fall of 2007, we updated the OHF code for the edits and a few new IHE profiles implementations for 2008. We now have a brach for the code for the 2007 and prior version of the IHE profiles. This branch will see no more new features, only bug fixes. Documentation can be found on the wiki at:

The main branch now features code compilant with the 2008 IHE profiles. Most notable new additions are that of XDS.b and XUA support. The XDS.b profile is a more pure web-service method for sharing clinical documents. The original XDS functionality is still supported (at both the plugin and bridge) and is now referred to as XDS.a. XUA is a profile for the management of user assertions (ie. SAML or WS-TRUST).  API for this profile is available at the plugin and bridge level. Updates regarding the main branch can be found at:

In January 2008, OHF was well represented at the North Americal IHE Connectathon in Chicago, IL, USA. For the first time ever, the OHF Bridge was allowed to test as an individual component and passed with flying colors. OHF technology was used by 8 companies and we additionally congratulate them on their success at this event – with some systems surpassing 100 valid interoperabiltiy tests. For more information about OHf and the IHE connectathon see our wiki:

We are now at the European Union Connectathon in Oxford, UK in support of several European companies using OHF technology for their IHE interfaces. After this event we will be resolving any open Connectathon related issues and creating another CVS tag and a new post-Connectathon build – something for our community to look forward to.

Sarah Knoop

Healthcare Systems Research Manager
IBM Almaden Research Center
650 Harry Rd.
San Jose, CA 95120-6099
phone: (408) 927-2622  (tie 457-2622)

Dan Ford, IBM Almaden Research Center, Provides an Update on the Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler (STEM) Work of the Eclipse OHF Project

I haven’t seen a lot of activity on the dev list lately and I  know that that doesn’t reflect the high level of activity in the OHF project.  To jump start our communication channel a bit I’ve written a short summary of the status of the STEM project ( which is developing an open platform for disease modeling based on Eclipse.

Some highlights:

We recently (last week) hired a technical writer for the project who will be helping us with documentation, wiki, etc.

We received multi-year funding from the USAF to incorporate features for disease model validation.  The implementation of those features is going well.

We recently extended the core modeling framework to add an additional component called an "Experiment" which is a container for the specification of multiple simulations all based on a single root Scenario.  This is a powerful addition to the STEM representational framework as it allows a base model to be modified in specific ways to explore the potential effects of different public policy decisions.  It also enables the process of disease model validation by making it easier to explore the variations in disease models and compare them to known data sets.

The development team is migrating from Eclipse3.4M5 to Eclipse3.4M6.

The STEM build process has been automated.  Though there is still some work here to complete the job.  Right now the process builds STEM for Windows, MAC and Linux, but it does not yet deploy the builds to the download site.  Consequently, the last available build was in December.  This needs to change.

We’re working with the legal department to clear our geographic datasets.   

The MapView graphics can now display the edges connecting geographic regions.  This was literally an "eye opener" as it made several mistakes in our common border edge data sets blindingly obvious.  There were errors in the USA county border connects and others in Africa and China.  This wasn’t too surprising as the connections were generated automatically by examining region Lat/Long border data, but even 99.99% correct isn’t good enough.

We’re rewriting the EMF generated editors.  The EMF editors work well enough, but they really need to be customized to the particular framework component being edited to make them more user friendly.

There has been some work on profiling the performance of STEM and this has resulted in some fine tuning of the internal MapView graphics.

We currently have 92 open bug reports with 16 unassigned.

Open Source Tools and Applications at American Medical Informatics Association

Will Ross,

Seven Open Source projects were featured at a workshop on Open Source software at the annual AMIA Symposium in Chicago, Illinois. Despite the Saturday evening time slot, about 60 conference attendees were treated to some inspiring presentations. Senthil Nachimuthu, M.D., organized the two and a half hour workshop. This year’s AMIA Symposium on Biomedical and Health Informatics features 14 Workshops, 26 full or half day Tutorials, 96 Scientific Sessions, and over 300 poster presentations. The Symposium runs from November 10 to 14. More here.

Third Annual Government Open Source Conference, October 15-16, 2007, Portland, Oregon

Built for the Public Sector by the Public Sector GOSCON provides senior public sector decision-makers outstanding access to industry leaders as well as agency peers. GOSCON covers a range of interests, from the basics to strategy to projects taken on by their peers. The focus for 2007: Open Standards and Interoperability.

This one and one-half day non-profit conference, designed for public sector IT management and key technology staff, is filled with real world examples, practical information and strategies for anyone considering how Open Source Software might fit into their software acquisition or development strategies.

GOSCON 2007’s core program include the tracks:

* Open Source 101 for Management

* Strategy; Standards, Architecture and Organization

* Real World Open Source: Public Agencies’ Experience

* Technology

This year’s keynotes include:

  • Andrea DiMaio, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner Research
  • Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, Linux Foundation
  • Skip McGaughey, Director of Eclipse Ecosystem, Eclipse Foundation

Call For Papers Opens for Apache, Eclipse OS Summit Asia 2007

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) and the Eclipse Foundation invite submissions to OS Summit Asia 2007, to be held Nov 26 – 30 at the Cyberport, Hong Kong. A ground breaking event, OS Summit Asia is the first joint conference between the Apache and Eclipse Foundations and the first such event in Hong Kong and greater China. OS Summit features a wide range of activities designed to promote the exchange of ideas amongst foundation members, innovators, developers, vendors, and users interested in the future of Open Source technology. Original link here.

If You’d Like To Advocate For FOSS in Healthcare

as Ignacio H. Valdes, MD, MS suggests, you might want to call in on the AHIC Successor Public Technical Assistance Meeting to be held 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern on September 5, 2007, to ask detailed questions related to a Notice of Funding Availability (NoFA) to resource an entity designated to design and establish the AHIC successor by Spring 2008 and the role FOSS will play. 

Here’s the current vision.

Open Source Workshop at AMIA 2007 in Chicago, Nov, 2007

Eishay Smith writes:

A team lead by Senthil Nachimuthu (MD, University of Utah) will conduct an Open Source Workshop at AMIA 2007 in Chicago (Nov, 2007). Contributed to the workshop paper where Thomas Jones, Jon Teichrow, Paul Biondich, Cal Collins, Will Ross, and myself.

The workshop will include representatives from the open source projects:

  • Eclipse Open Healthcare Framework
  • Machine Learning Tools
  • Mirth
  • Tolven
  • OpenEMPI
  • OpenClinica
  • OpenMRS
  • IBM Contributes Epidemiological Modeling Software to Eclipse Open Healthcare Framework

    By Digital Infrastructure Features Staff

    A tool for projecting the spread of infectious disease becomes freely available for use and research.

    IBM has released a tool to an open-source foundation that helps scientists and public health officials predict the spread of disease. Healthcare researchers say that STEM (Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler) could have been helpful, for example, in monitoring the recent case of a man with tuberculosis who flew on airlines, or the spread of SARS several years ago. A tool like STEM could help save lives in such cases.

    OHF (Open Healthcare Framework) is a project of Eclipse, a foundation that develops open-source solutions in a variety of fields. OHF is focused in the area of healthcare informatics technology. The goal is to facilitate the integration of systems through open standards and methods. At the same time, OHF announced that version 0.2.0 of STEM was available for download.

    Sarah Knoop, IBM Almaden Research Center, on OHF XDS

    The XDS consumer supports 3 transactions:
    – Registry Query (ebXML 2.1, ITI-16)
    – Registry Stored Query (ebXML 3.0, ITI-18)
    – Retrieve Document (http, ITI-17)

    These transactions are implemented as defined by the IHE organization. So the consumer will send ebXML 2.1 messages if you invoke the "query()" methods as defined. The XDS Consumer will send ebXML 3.0 if you invoke the "invokeStoredQuery()" method. XDS Registries, as stated by IHE, are required to handle Stored Queries (ITI-18) and it is optional for them to additionally support the Registry Query (ITI-16). If you are just beginning your implementation and have an ebXML 2.1 registry, the OHF XDS Consumer should work right out of the box using the "query()" method. The OHF XDS Document Source sends ebXML 2.1 messages, so you should be all set.

    A HEADS UP as well: This year peer transactions using ebXML 3.0 are coming out in a new supplement in IHE. This supplement is still under development and will be made available for public comment in the coming weeks. After this point in time XDS will have a set of "original" transactions and a new set of "web service" transactions.

    Orginal (using ebXML 2.1):
    – Registry Query (ITI-16)
    – Provide and Register Document Set (ITI – 15)
    – Retrieve Document (ITI-17)
    – Register Document Set (ITI-14)

    Web service (using ebXML 3.0)
    – Registry Stored Query (ITI-18, updated again this cycle)
    – Provide and Register Document Set-b (ITI-15.b)
    – Retrieve Document Set (ITI-XX – new transaction)
    – Register Document Set-b (ITI-14.b)

    These transactions will have an effect on OHF and XDS Registry implementors. Requirements for Connectathon and compliance will be affected as well.

    For more details on the current status of these new transactions, please see the in-progress document.

    It is my intent to try and implement the XDS Source and XDS Consumer side of these new transactions for the 2008 North American Connectathon, but I will be doing so after the trial implementation text is available from IHE … which should be sometime in late summer.