The Open eHealth Foundation (OeHF), an open source initiative for improving the exchange of medical information using existing standards, has been incorporated as a non-profit organisation in Delaware enabling it to begin operations.
The OeHF is intended to provide software components under an Open Source license that will boost the open standards-based exchange of medical information.
The Foundation was announced in February this year at the HIMMS conference in Florida, with Agfa HealthCare, IntercomponentWare and Sun Microsystems as founding members.
A central aim of the Foundation is to use existing open source projects for developing a platform on which its members and other providers can create open source components that area available free of charge, including reference implementations to obtain high semantic interoperability based on open standards.
In addition to working with existing standard-developing organisations to implement the standards already defined into the Foundation’s open source components, OeHF will also provide reference implementations for these healthcare standards.
The healthcare oriented components will initially include services for patient consent management, virtual patient records, patient information management and services for a standardized users, roles and relations management.
The Foundation will begin by using existing IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) profiles as a guideline for its development activities.
Lindsay Strait from Sun Microsystems has been elected as the first chairman of the OeHF board, with Evgueni Loukipoudis from Agfa Healthcare elected as chief technology officer. As CTO Loukipoudis will be responsible for the architecture as well as the interoperability of software components developed by the Foundation.
All the OeHF service components will be designed flexibly, will offer IHE compliant functionality, and will be usable in national initiatives such as the Canada Health Infoway or the Frauhofer electronic case record in Germany.
The OeHF has prioritised the initial IHE profiles which will be given priority to be implemented as open source components. The initial focus will be on implementing the PIX/PDQ profile – the IHE Patient Identifier Cross Referencing and Patient Demographics Query.
Results of the work on the PIX/PDQ profile will be presented at the HIMSS 2009 event in Chicago.