The International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) has launched a new IHTSDO Workbench designed to make it easier to use the clinical terminology SNOMED CT.

The Workbench provides tools to develop, maintain, and facilitate the use of SNOMED CT in health systems around the world. The workbench includes terminology editing, mapping, and other applications.

IHTSDO’s 11 Member nations, together with other SNOMED CT users, will use these tools in a shared web-based environment.

The overall environment will initially host terminology browsing, authoring, subset and other reference set management, mapping, and namespace management applications. Users can either work independently, or can collaborate on terminology editing, mapping, or other tasks.

Jennifer Zelmer, IHTSDO’s chief executive officer, said the workbench will make it “easier to work together and to spread innovations that will improve health and health care".

IHTSDO says it intends to add additional modules to the workbench over time and to encourage partners to build and share complementary tools.

The successful bidders for the initial modules were Informatics Inc., CollabNet Inc., the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation through the Australian E-Health Research Centre, and Health Language, Inc.

“The IHTSDO workbench represents a step change in the ability to deliver health terminology,” says John Gutai, IHTSDO’s chief technical architect. “Members can use the workbench to collaborate effectively in the development of a shared healthcare terminology, grounded in common language-independent concepts.”

The SNOMED CT workbench is part of IHTSDO’s on-going efforts to enable broader access to, and use of, standardised clinical terminologies worldwide. Already, eleven countries have joined together to support the on-going development and maintenance of SNOMED CT and related standards, sharing the costs on a sliding scale based on national income and making the standards freely available in their jurisdictions.

IHTSDO also offers free access to SNOMED CT in countries that are not yet members for qualifying research projects and on humanitarian or charitable grounds, as well as in countries with low income economies.


The IHTSDO is an international organisation, established as a Danish not-for-profit association. Copies of the Request for Information/Request for Proposals for the IHTSDO Workbench can be accessed at