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HL7, SNOMED Renew Partnership for Global Health Data Exchange

The data standards groups said they will continue working together as new initiatives put an emphasis on international health data exchange.

HL7 International and SNOMED have announced they will continue their longstanding strategic partnership to advance international health data exchange.

Particularly, the pair will continue their work to integrate SNOMED CT and HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR).

This comes as healthcare’s interoperability is put under the microscope, with the global COVID-19 pandemic revealing how limited health data exchange truly is.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly heightened the demand for more seamless health data exchange,” HL7 CEO Charles Jaffe, MD, PhD, said in a statement. “Our collaboration with SNOMED International is critical to fostering data interoperability. Our long-standing collaboration with SNOMED and the resulting incorporation of SNOMED CT vocabulary within HL7 standards, including FHIR, will advance us to a world in which everyone can access the right data where and when they need it."

As part of their work to integrate SNOMED CT and HL7’s FHIR, the pair will maintain the HL7 IPS Fee Set as it would adhere to new requirements and changes to SNOMED CT. This will help the international healthcare community as it sets its sights on global health data standards.

For example, the G7 digital health communique recently outlined a need for better collaboration between global health IT and health information stakeholders.

 “The joint commitment and work produced by our two organizations offers tangible interoperability tools that meet the breadth of content and messaging needs that we are observing globally,” Don Sweete, the SNOMED International CEO, explained in the press release. “Collaboration agreements of this nature are an important step in answering the call to action being expressed recently by G7 leaders to address pressing interoperability issues.”

The pair plan to zero in on licensing agreements, verbiage that would bind the use of SNOMED CT in HL7 products, software updates of maintenance for HL7 IPS Free Set, and promotion of SNOMET CT and FHIR in international use cases.

Additionally, SNOMED International and HL7 International plan to work together for the HL7 FHIR Connectathon and focus on health information management educational opportunities.

Both groups said they plan to achieve those ends by July 2023 and will then review project deliverables. Additionally, they said they would continue to identify areas for collaboration.

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