Universal IT translator tackles incompatibility

May 1, 2007

A Rosetta Stone-like scheme demonstrated at the third Nationwide Health Information Network Forum resolves IT incompatibility issues by translating information as it passes through the system.

A Rosetta Stone-like scheme demonstrated at the third Nationwide Health Information Network Forum resolves IT incompatibility issues by translating information as it passes through the system.

This universal translator from Northrop Grumman was one of the most potentially significant of the network prototypes shown at the January conference held in Washington, DC.

Compatibility between systems-user interface, system architecture, and functionality-can vary significantly. A translation facility, or information broker, that can resolve incompatibility issues would help achieve the goal of a nationwide health information network.

The defense giant was one of four high-profile companies at the forum demonstrating national health network prototypes, inching the country closer to the reality of nationwide health information exchange. Other firms presenting were IBM, CSC (Computer Sciences Corp.), and Accenture.

Northrop Grumman's solution connected national laboratory, pharmacy, and public health systems with three existing markets: regional health organizations in Cleveland and the Santa Cruz area of California and a health exchange in Mesa County, CO.