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Re: FHIR on schema.org

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2016 10:56:52 -0400
To: Renato Iannella <r@iannel.la>, "its@lists.hl7.org" <its@lists.HL7.org>, w3c semweb HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Message-ID: <57486034.8030706@dbooth.org>
On 05/27/2016 03:10 AM, Renato Iannella wrote:
>> On 27 May 2016, at 11:09, David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:
>> I think it is important to distinguish two separate and orthogonal
>> concerns:
 >> 1. What data should be shared or exchanged?
 >> 2. What does the data mean?
 >> Security and privacy are all about #1 -- not #2.
>> Schema.org and healthcare vocabularies address #2 -- not #1.
> I don’t think that is the case. Schema.org's dual purpose is to
> "promote schemas for structured data on web pages", so this includes
> the exchange of such data as a key driver behind creating the terms
> on schema.org.

It is, but the purpose of promoting schemas for structured data on web 
pages is to enable shared meaning between data publishers and machine 
consumers (such as search engines), when data is exchanged between them.

> Hence, whether we like it or not, just specifying personal data as a
> property in schema.org does not mean we can then not address how
> privacy is handled. This is especially relevant for healthcare data.

It seems to me that privacy needs to be addressed at the level of 
protocols and policies.  What are you suggesting relevant to 
vocabularies, such as schema.org?

> My (other related) point is *why* do we need to create a set of
> schema.org URIs for the same FHIR URIs ?
> For example, we already have http://hl7.org/fhir/MedicationOrder We
> do we now need (and maintain): http://schema.org/MedicationOrder ??

Great question.  There is a huge need for standards convergence, to 
facilitate semantic interoperability.  Standards convergence is the 
ultimate goal of "standardizing the standards", described here:
Standards convergence means converging on a common set of shared 
concepts that are used across standards, so that multiple standards can 
be cleanly used together as a cohesive whole, rather than acting as 
inconsistent competing standards.  (There are currently over 100 
"standard" vocabularies used in healthcare, defining overlapping 
concepts in different data formats and data models.)

One step toward standards convergence is to have formal semantic linkage 
between vocabularies.  This is essential to prevent babelization that 
would otherwise occur when yet another standard (such as FHIR or 
schema.org) is defined:

Once concepts from other vocabularies (such as FHIR) are brought into a 
vocabulary (such as schema.org) then the overlaps and differences 
between concepts become more visible, and it becomes easier for the 
community to reconcile them and converge on a set of shared concepts.

There is a lot of visibility and institutional backing behind 
schema.org.  Rightly or wrongly this gives it the possibility of acting 
as an uber-vocabulary that spans many domains -- including healthcare -- 
and helps toward standards convergence.

David Booth
Received on Friday, 27 May 2016 14:57:21 UTC

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