European radiologists launch IHE-type integration initiative

August 9, 2000

European radiologists launch IHE-type integration initiativeGE, Philips, Siemens among first to joinThanks to open architectures designed as part of the multiyear Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) project, radiologists in the

European radiologists launch IHE-type integration initiative

GE, Philips, Siemens among first to join

Thanks to open architectures designed as part of the multiyear Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) project, radiologists in the U.S. hope to soon enjoy the seamless exchange of images and information among different operating systems. Eager to reap the same benefits—and despite some problems getting vendors outside of the imaging field to participate (HNN 5/3/00)—European radiologists have launched their own effort. Dubbed IHE-E, the initiative is expected to make its formal debut next year.

Mirroring its U.S. cousin, which was launched at the 1999 RSNA meeting, the IHE-E is a joint effort between medical societies and industry. The European Association of Radiology and the European Coordination Committee of the Radiological and Electromedical Industries (COCIR) are directing the effort. The goal of the IHE-E is to foster communications among diverse medical information systems and promote the use of electronic healthcare communication standards through public demonstrations.

Since the concept of an IHE-E was introduced at the European Congress of Radiology (ECR) meeting in March, COCIR has sponsored a series of exploratory workshops for industry and providers. One is scheduled for Aug. 30 during the Medical Infobahn Europe meeting in Hanover, Germany.

“The goal of IHE-E is to develop application scenarios as well as technical requirements for integrating healthcare information systems, imaging systems, and other modalities,” said Hans Peter Bursig, secretary-general of COCIR, based in Frankfurt. “Over the next several years, the project will also provide a consistent and reliable framework for incorporating additional leading-edge applications.”

Participating IHE-E vendors to date include GE Medical Systems, Philips, Siemens AG, and Toshiba. The first live demonstration, featuring interoperable image and information systems in a realistic healthcare enterprise setting, is scheduled for the ECR meeting in March 2001.