We are following the future, come along

Ana Castilho


IHE Connectathon. Is this a geeky marathon event?

It has to be for those who are enthusiastic about healthcare IT, aiming to make tech connections work. As a few people say, it is a “safe place to fail” (source: HIMSS News).

IHE Connectathons
IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) Connectathon aims to provide to an eHealth vendor an opportunity to test the interoperability of his product in a skilful environment. Participants use real clinical data following IHE set of requirements, where the IHE Integration Profiles are tested in the vendors’ product.

This IHE event takes place every year since 1999 in North America, Europe, PRC, Korea and Australia and 2014 was no exception. In Europe took place in Vienna (Austria) between 7 and 11 of April. It was 5 intensive days that our iUZers Marcelo Fonseca and Ivo Pinheiro had the opportunity to have, sharing experiences with over 350 industry-leading professionals.


A unique opportunity to test the interoperability using real world clinical scenarios. (source: IHE Europe)


But what is exactly a connectathon?

A Connectathon is an event concept invented in 1986 by Sun Microsystems, mainly focused on the application standards. This type of event is organized according with openness and sharing values to build a connection specification based on interoperability.

Main purpose?
To prove that the specification is complete as well as to prove that implementations written to that specification can ‘connect’. (Source: John Moehrke)


Back in April, Marcelo and Ivo participated in IHE Europe Connectathon 2014 – Viena. Look what Marcelo say about it:

1. In what consisted this event?

Marcelo: In a simplified way, the IHE Connectathon is a weeklong health-care oriented interoperability-testing event.

It is held annually in Asia, Europe and North America. During the Connectathon, systems exchange information with complementary systems from multiple vendors, performing all of the transactions required for the roles they have selected, called IHE Actors, and in support of defined clinical use cases, called IHE Profiles.

Thousands of vendor-to-vendor connections are tested overall, and tens of thousands of transactions are passed among the systems tested. The sponsoring organizations publish the results of this testing for public review after the Connectathon.

This event offers vendors a unique opportunity for connectivity testing—removing barriers to integration that would otherwise have to be dealt with on site, at the customer’s expense, for instance.

Other positive aspects include the on-site experience of knowledge sharing between participants, that share the same real problems and situations – those kind of opportunities do not happen frequently.

The 2014 Europe Connectathon was held in Vienna, Austria and the 2015 edition will be held in Luxembourg.

2. What meaning has to you being part of an event like this?

Marcelo: This is the 3rd IHE Connectathon that iUZ Team was present, preceded by “Bern 2012″ and “Istanbul 2013″.

In the 2012 edition, iUZ (as Portuguese Ministry of Health Technical Partner for epSOS) tested the Portuguese epSOS National Contact Point instance with success.

In 2013 edition, we were representing again the Portuguese epSOS NCP, but at that time as a supporting testing counterpart.

In last April, in the last edition, iUZ was present under the membership of epSOS Industry-Team, providing support to other epSOS test participants on-site. The level of meaningfulness, regarding the presence on such event, has increased from time to time – as we felt more experienced and mature on the IHE specification and testing ecosystem.

We always learn something new and meet someone new on every edition, confirming that these are unique moments at many levels that we should take advantage.

3. What type of personal and professional value have you reached with the participation in this event?

Marcelo: Regarding professional level, and considering the current phase of iUZ, the participation on such kind of events allowed us to have the right perspective and the right dimension to try to inspire and influence many of the technical choices performed at iUZ, under the eHealth interoperability theme.

To finalize, it is always an honor and a privilege to be a part of events of this nature.

 OpenNCP - epSOS (Group)

IHE Connectathon 2015 will be in Luxembourg (20-25 April). See you there?

Share your thought in the comments.

(Image: Flickr – Josiah Mackenzie)

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Ana Castilho

WoHIT 2014

WoHIT 2014 was on early April and we would like to tell you a bit of our experience on this remarkable event.

WoHIT is an interoperability showcase, conference and exhibition organised by HIMSS Europe and is designed to the Healthcare Information Technology Community located in Europe.

Our CEO Isabel Cruz travelled to Nice (France) to acquire knowledge and to share innovative Health IT solutions. She had the opportunity to expand contacts and to share our solutions and case studies to the community, such as:


How do you think European Healthcare IT professionals are dealing with the eHealth challenge? In our last post, regarding eHealth Forum 2014, we’ve shared an interview where Isabel Cruz speaks also about this scope.

See you next year in Riga (Latvia)?
WoHIT 2015


Please, lets us know in the comments and tell the world by sharing this post on Facebook or LinkedIn.


(Image: Still Words and woHIT)


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Ana Castilho

eHealth Forum 2014

eHealth Forum week
was between 12 and 14 May and our iUZers Isabel Cruz and Marcelo Fonseca, had the opportunity to participate at the event, that took place at Megaron Mousikis, in Athens – Greece.

The event consisted in three intensive days of talks, networking and a busy agenda, where the hot topics were innovation partnerships, “wearable tech” applications, and ePrescriptions, among others.

During the different conference talks the European Commission Vice-President, Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda, said that to be able to promote innovation in Europe, companies need “a shift in mind-set. Having new tools, devices and apps is one thing. Integrating them across the health system, large-scale, is another. It takes effort and dedication – and the will to change” (Source: eHealth Forum newsletter).

In the last day of the event, Yannis Rizopoulos from Tech Talks Central interviewed our CEO Isabel Cruz. Tech Talks Central is a web radio specialised in covering all the hot topics and trends in the technological field that has collaborated with eHealth Forum organisation to broadcast during the event.

In her interview, Isabel talked about iUZ participation in:

  • epSOS project, such as, the Industry Team, OpenNCP, what it takes to be part of an interoperability project, as well as, what is the hard part in participating in a large-scale project
  • PNPSO  (Portuguese National Program for Promotion of Oral Healthcare) – such as, dental-vouchers, relevant numbers, among other things
  • uEDC (Electronic Data Capture) – explaining that this solution supports clinical research and works directly with CRO – Clinical Research Organisations
  • In the end, Yannis Rizopoulos asked Isabel her opinion about what should be Europe’s vision for eHealth in 10 to 20 years from now.

Listen to her responses through the podcast shared by Tech Talks Central.

In addition, also in the last day of the event, Marcelo Fonseca participated in the Industry Team and Open Source Community Workshop chaired by Juergen Wehnert, Gematik mbH (Germany) and Dr. Alexander Berler, Industry Team Steering Committee (Greece). Marcelo and Konstantin Hyppönen (also from the OpenNCP Community) talked about OpenNCP technical architecture and use in a real pilot environment. Both covered questions about:

  • Technical design of epSOS services
  • Use and implementation of IHE profiles
  • Semantic components
  • Security Services
  • Development tools used
  • Integration and testing strategies
  • Their experiences of using and developing OpenNCP


Tell us your thoughts about this type of events or Isabel and Marcelo participation, in the comments.

(Image: eHealth Forum 2014 press releases; Podcast: Tech Talk Central)


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Ana Castilho

epSOS Industry Team

(Source: Flickr – Heather Cast a Line)


Have you heard about epSOS Project?

For those who didn’t, epSOS is a European eHealth Project started in 2008, where Portugal was involved through SPMS and iUZ as its technical partner. This initiative is a cross-border interoperability platform, which allows access to the patient health records and the use of electronic prescriptions (or ePrescriptions) in European countries, while a citizen is in a foreign country.

During this project the opportunity to become part of epSOS Industry Team pop up, and since early April we are proud to be part of it, and to share it with you.


But, what is the “epSOS Industry Team”?

The Industry Team (IT) is a pro bono consortium represented by IHE-Europe. IT is a segment of epSOS project, which presently connects a group of 30 eHealth companies – SME’s and multinationals – that work together with their knowledge for a common good – epSOS (source: epsos.eu).

Any company in the eHealth field can participate with their knowledge and expertise. In iUZ case, we are supporting with the knowledge acquired during the implementation of epSOS Project in Portugal, such as, providing semantic and technical interoperability knowledge and expertise and, assisting with the developments of OpenNCP (Open National Contact Point) building blocks.

With this association iUZ pretends to help leverage eHealth in Europe, creating also new business opportunities and expanding our network.

If you want to know more about iUZ participation in epSOS project, please go to our case study. Also find more information about the Industry Team in epSOS website.


Have you heard about epSOS Project? Are you part of one of the companies from the Industry Team?

Let us know in the comments.

Opening the Future of Healthcare.
Contact iUZ today at +351 234 247 381 or visit iuz.pt

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