As part of some research on IBM's efforts in collaborative innovation, I was checking out the new beta site for alphaWorks, IBM's public program for early adopters of new technologies and trends, and came across this very interesting new offering related to open-standards based exchange for healthcare data. Technologists can actually go in and try this system out. A bit out of my technical skill level (not sure what an "affinity domain" is), but would be interested to hear feedback on those who do try it out. As always, please spread the word:
What is Public Health Information Affinity Domain (PHIAD)?
PHIAD creates the first on-demand system in the public health industry by enabling the integration and sharing of data generated at clinical and public health institutions across proprietary systems and political boundaries.
The system is built upon international coding systems, as well as the coordination between open-source technologies and the 'Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise' (IHE) initiative in the use of standards to allow multi-national public health reporting and surveillance.
PHIAD supports hierarchical data flow across different domains. Each regional PHIAD collects data from local sources, such as doctors and veterinarians. The regional PHIAD then forwards appropriate information to a national PHIAD, which is administered by a disease control organization such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). PHIAD can extend this hierarchy of data sharing to international partnerships. At each level, different data-sharing policies concerning person identification, location identification, authorship, and results can be implemented.