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HL7 Connectathons

Publication date: Sep 09, 2012

For the first time ever HL7 organized an IHE-style connectathon. The initial (FHIR-related) connectathon was successfull - and is likely to be followed by other test events.

FHIR Connectathon

The first ever HL7 connectathon was held on September 8, just prior to the HL7 working Group Meeting. The connectathon was limited to a new HL7 standard called FHIR.

Given that the FHIR standard has a draft status the connectathon wasn't as formal nor as well structured as an IHE connectathon. Future FHIR connectathons and connectathons related to other HL7 existing standards will probably be much more structured and elaborate.

Grahame Grieve, one of the main authors and implementers of the HL7 FHIR standard wrote a connectathon report on his blog. A video report from the connectathon can be found below.

When asked, Duane Bender of Mohawk College in Canada, one of the connectathon participants participating with an iOS based client application stated that he intends to take part in future FHIR-related connectathons: "Sure, I'm really excited by it. I'm personally also a moniter at the IHE connectathon in Chigaco, so I'm very interested in it. Overall I'm very happy that HL7 has decided to do this, I'm a practical person and really appreciate it."

Implementation focus

The mere fact that HL7 has held a connectathon, and that it also plans to hold them in future, shows a reorientation of HL7 towards the implementers/users of its standard. HL7's CEO (Chuck Jaffe) is one of the key supporters of the connectathon and was also present as an observer. Chuck is confident that the connectathon next year will attract at least 4 times as much attendees, and would definitely like to see connectathons related to the other HL7 standards as well.

As a further example of a reorientation towards implementers the HL7 tooling strategy was expanded to include 'user (implementer) tools' in addition to tooling aimed at standards developers.

HL7 freeing up the IP related to its standards (more about that in an upcoming blogpost), and its reorientation towards implementers/users - both are very welcome developments.


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