Three federal agencies are asking industry stakeholders to come together in September to figure out the best ways to promote semantic interoperability of laboratory data.

Semantic interoperability, according to IEEE, is the ability of two or more systems or components to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged.

The Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Library of Medicine will host a workshop in Silver Springs, Md., on September 28. The goal is to better improve semantic interoperability “of laboratory data between in vitro diagnostic devices and database systems, including laboratory information systems and electronic health records,” according to an announcement from the agencies.

According to FDA, in vitro diagnostics “are tests that can detect diseases, conditions, or infections. Some tests are used in laboratory or other health professional settings and other tests are for consumers to use at home.”

Also See: FDA Informatics Community to Advance Precision Medicine

The agenda will tackle issues such as adoption of the LOINC codes (identifying laboratory and clinical observations), reporting results using the SNOMED-CT terminology (codes for clinical tests, measurements and other observations) as well as the Unified Code for Units of Measure or UCUM, unique device identifiers, and plans for moving forward to improve lab interoperability.

The workshop is free but seats are limited so early registration is recommended and available here. Participants are given the opportunity to make a presentation during an open comment session if they desire.

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