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Re: Minutes of last week's (Dec 2) HL7 ITS RDF Subgroup / W3C HCLS COI call -- Review of FHIR ontology approaches (cont.)

From: Matthias Samwald <matthias.samwald@meduniwien.ac.at>
Date: Sun, 21 Dec 2014 07:08:38 +0100
Message-ID: <549663E6.9000208@meduniwien.ac.at>
To: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
Dear all,

I have hardly participated in any of the calls lately and am coming at 
this as a bit of an outsider. From my reading it indeed seems that any 
officially accepted RDF version of FHIR data would use a code + code 
system representation of 'concepts' from controlled vocabularies / 
ontologies. In this case, however, I doubt that the added benefit of 
having an RDF version  is rather minimal and does not outweigh the added 
complexity of an additional representation besides XML and JSON.

The potential benefit of FHIR over other existing approaches (such as 
some previous HL7 standards) is simplicity and accessibility through 
standard tooling.

The potential benefits of an RDF/OWL representation of health data are 
bridging the data model-terminology gap, an intuitive representation of 
medical information and easy querying and interlinking of the resulting 
data via intuitive SPARQL queries.

I hope I'm wrong, but my impression is that a simple, mostly syntactic 
mapping of FHIR in RDF might end up having neither of these qualities, 
combining the worst rather than the best of both worlds. A more 
sophisticated mapping, on the other hand, might not allow round-tripping 
the data and would probably not be accepted as part of the official FHIR 

Am I overly sceptical here?

With kind regards,
Matthias Samwald

Am 21.12.2014 00:15, schrieb Lloyd McKenzie:
> Well, for FHIR at a minimum, you must be able to round-trip 
> instances.  And what will appear in the JSON and XML instances is the 
> code + code system (and often multiple code-code system pairs).   
> Often, the code + code system won't even link to an ontology that's 
> known by the receiver.  And if we want to be able to convert v2 or v3 
> instances, what appears over the wire there is the code + code system 
> too.  All knowledge of what the binding is for an element is carried 
> outside the instance.
> --------------------------------------
> Lloyd McKenzie
> +1-780-993-9501

Assistant Professor
Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics, and Intelligent Systems
Medical University of Vienna
Received on Sunday, 21 December 2014 06:09:09 UTC

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