Open Healthcare Framework

Friday, January 26, 2007

Bringing in 2007 by looking back at 2006

--This post was prepared by Melih Onvural - an OHF committer--

The OHF project took large leaps and bounds forward during 2006. A congratulatory look back is warranted as OHF is poised to grow even larger in the year ahead.

2006 started with the project trying to find its feet. The first large challenge was bringing together the full group for a FTF to help define the projects and directions for the year to come. What a challenge that turned out to be! The newsgroup was littered with requests to meet, but it wasn't until EclipseCon 2006 that finally gave the OHF community its first chance to shake hands and learn faces. This first meeting brought to OHF a vision of WADO, server side infrastructure, XDS exposure, CTS, and more. Even more important was the goal set forth to expose IHE actors in time to find partners for the IHE Connectathon 2007 event. The meeting outcomes seem a bit apprehensive about whether this goal was achievable, but the OHF community left Northern California with something to shoot for and a promise of continued communication to figure out how.

It was soon after that OHF took a step backwards in losing one of its founders and leaders when Kim Clohessy passed away after a fight with melanoma. It was an all to blunt reminder of how fragile we all are.

As Spring turned into Summer (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), things started to gain traction in the OHF community. STEM was proposed as an OHF project, and then found itself in the news as part of IBM's Global Pandemic Initiative. Following closely behind were the PIX/PDQ actors, XDS actors, WADO components, and the OHF bridge. A hard deadline was set in place for the first milestone, but as the days approached, it seemed necessary to push back the milestone date. The OHF community did not let this slight setback slow them down. Before the summer was out, XDS and PIX/PDQ actors were in beta and Don Jorgenson as well as Eishay Smith were at LinuxWorld extolling the virtues of the OHF project. Another FTF was in the works and partners were being found for the Connectathon 2007 event. OHF was roaring down the tracks towards its 2006 goal.

The falling leaves signaled autumn and cold weather, but OHF was just getting heated up. The project went into full steam mode in preparation for the Connectathon 2007 event. Partners were recruited, actors were committed to the CVS repository, and the community continued to grow. Posts on the developer list and the newsgroup boomed. Deadlines were extended, then met. The rush of events, including adding XDS stored query functionality and the ATNA component, culminated in one final test of a year's work - Connectathon 2006.

OHF Components were used by a large portfolio of healthcare PHR, EMR and other applications running on a variety of platforms (J2SE, J2EE, .NET, PHP). The following vendors used OHF in the systems they tested:
All of the vendors who used OHF passed the Connectathon tests. The number of tests the OHF partners passed was significantly higher than other applications of a similar nature (who did not use OHF). An internal information network was established between the vendors, feeding each other with problems, fixes, configurations etc. This network and the successful week resulted in a strong sense of community amongst the OHF partners.

It was commented by the testers that it was clear from the level of readiness who used OHF and who didn't.

And so we all look forward to 2007 where much more should be expected and much more should be accomplished.

--melih