Stephen Lahanas


Over the past twenty years, a number of standards groups have arisen to develop, manage or reconcile Healthcare data or IT-related standards. Much of the focus over the past decade has been dedicated specifically to data exchange standards and identifying standard data elements for various sub-domains of Healthcare practice automation. The primary standards bodies involved in these activities include but are not limited to the following organizations:

•    International Standards Organization (ISO)


I decided to conduct an informal survey in an attempt to gauge the current level of adoption and growth potential for Semantic Technology as an industry vertical. The results indicate to me that while progress is being made we still need to do a better job of delivering the message – this messaging problem is the number one reason why adoption of Semantic Technologies and Semantic Methodologies is proceeding slower than we had anticipated. 

So let’s examine review some of the assumptions first:


Over the past two years I’ve tried very hard to help define the potential application for this technology area in the context of Information Technology disciplines or problem spaces – out of those efforts has come a focus on:


Integration is more than the coding of application or data interfaces. When dealing with complex integration within or across enterprises, there must be sufficient discipline to achieve reproducible results. Furthermore, that discipline must be tailored to the unique requirements of the domain/s in question. Few domains are as complex as Healthcare. Even more important perhaps is that integration cannot be viewed outside of the context of the outcomes within the domains they are meant to serve.


There are still many folks out there wondering exactly how Semantic Technology can add value within mainstream solutions architectures and practices. This is something that I’ve spent the last three years working on, specifically developing a set of IT practices which leverages an underlying methodology that we’ve discussed here before called “Semantic Integration” (SI). SI can be applied to any functional or industry domain because what it really represents is the first philosophical breakthrough for enterprise integration in decades.