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Workshop on Standardization in E-Health
Geneva, 23-25 May 2003


ISO TC 215, Health Informatics Overview

Yun Sik Kwak, MD,PhD
Dept. of Medical Informatics, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea

The ISO TC 215 consists of 25 ‘P’ and 14 ‘O’ member bodies currently to develop International Standards in the field of Medical Informatics. The TC is organized with 5 Working Groups(WG), 4 Sub WGs and 3 Task Forces. To introduce current activities of ISO TC 215, this brief presentation is made to deal with the scopes of the TC and each working group as listed below:

Scope of TC 215: Standardization in field of information for health, health ICT to achieve compatibility and interoperability between independent systems. Also to ensure compatibility of data for comparative statistical purpose (eg, classifications), and to reduce duplication of effort and redundancies.

WG 1, Health Records and Modelling Coordination;
Convenor: Don Newsham (Canada)
Scope: To develop standards to facilitate the capturing, safe communications, and trusted management of information concerning the total health process applied to one subject of care for individual and public health purposes and, furthermore, to coordinate modelling of other relevant standards efforts such as those regarding terminology, messaging, and security

WG 2, Messaging and Communications ;
Convenor: Edward Hammond (USA)
Scope:The effort of WG2 is
  • A general statement of the types of standards to be considered (for example, the functional purpose of the interchange and the circumstances in which the interchange should occur)
  • The specific domains of activity (that is, clinical messaging, medical device communication, and business and financial messaging)
  • A set of additional tasks or working principles that will guide the effort Sub-WG: 1) Architecture, 2) Device interface, 3) Methodology, and 4) DICOM persistent object

WG 3, Health Concept Representation;
Convenor: Christopher Chute (USA)
Scope: To develop standards for representation of health concepts. These standards include formal models of representation and description of health concepts; principles of their organization within terminology and their related systems (including controlled clinical terminology and classifications); and issues concerning context of their use in electronic health records.

WG 4, Security;
Convenor: Gunnar Klein (Sweden)
Scope : Defining standards for technical measures to protect and enhance the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of health information, and also accountability for users, as well as guidelines for security management in healthcare.

WG 5, Health Cards;
Convenor: Juergen Sembritzki (Germany)
To develop standards in field of healthcare usage of machine readable cards compliant with physical characteristics, including dimensions defined in ISO/IEC 7810,Identification cards - Physical characteristics. The WG shall place special emphasis on standards on technology independent data structure leading to interoperability and compatibility including communication of data.
Task Force: 1) e-Health, 2) e-Pharmacy, and 3) COPOLCO (Consumer Policy) There are more than 50 standards being developed presently for interoperability of health information in which broad representation of current paradigm and multi-culture requirements have been met.

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