Yet another successful event was held during the last week of April 2006, in Barcelona, Spain, by ‘Integrating the Health Enterprise’ (IHE). This year’s Connectathon featured more than 250 participants who attended the five-day event in the La Farga Centre at L'Hospitalet, Barcelona, coorganised by IHE-Europe and IHE-Espagna with the help of StudioSeis. Participants included engineers from 15 countries working for 67 system vendors, and 23 "IHE monitors", working for universities and other public organisations in charge of control tests, under the direction of Eric Poiseau, INRIA, IHE-Europe Technical Manager.
How Does the Connectathon Work? 117 systems were interconnected during the course of the week. Each vendor applied for between one and ten "integration profiles", enabling solutions for what are termed possible "applicative scenarios" from five different but interlinked domains (infractructure, radiology, laboratory, cardiology and patient care coordination). Each system supports one or multiple "users" playing a certain role in this scenario (e.g. admitting patient, printing image...). By the end of the week, more than 700 vendor/user combinations had been successfully tested, verified and approved, consisting of more than 1,600 tests. In spite of the high competition which arises in this market, IHE enabled vendors to converge in a spirit of cooperation, with the aim of obtaining their "gold star" to be published in the "Connectathon Results Table" (www.ihe-europe.org). Following these compatibility tests, vendors can then publish "Integration Statements" on their own sites, verifying the compliance of their products to the IHE Integration Profile, and simplifying the ‘Request for Proposals’ emitted by user sites. Hot topics this year included workflow and access to information (mainly inside hospitals), security, patient management and document sharing (inside hospitals but also between hospitals and ambulatory care), and the emerging patient summary.
Results will be presented at the eHealth meeting organised by the European Commission at Malaga in May.