Formation of IHE-UK by the British Institute of Radiology (BIR) Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology (MIRO) Sub Committee – a sub-committee of the BIR Industry Committee. The sub-Committee was chaired by Dr Nick Brown and the Industry Committee by Alan Budge. IHE-UK was represented at the first IHE-Europe Connectathon in Charenton-le-pont, France by Dr Nick Brown, Dr Dave Harvey and others who subsequently were IHE Monitors at the IHE-Europe Connectathon in Aachen 2003.
Interoperability Demonstration at UK Radiology Conference – Med-X-Ray, held in Birmingham. Supported by NHS Information Authority, UK Department of Health, British Computer Society (BCS), UK Vendor and User Communities, IHE-UK and Others. NHS Profiles were demonstrated live on-site in the exhibition area to congress visitors and exhibition attendees.
IHE-Europe Connectathon was held at St Catherine’s College Oxford with 85 companies and over 300 vendors, users and monitors attending the annual Interoperability Marathon over a week of interoperability testing. Plus a parallel academic programme with interoperability events including a UK Interoperability Symposium followed by the Connectathon Dinner at Christ Church College.
IHE-UK has attended the annual Radiology Conferences organised by the British Institute of Radiology (BIR), Royal College of Radiologists (RCR), Society and College of Radiographers (SCOR) and Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM), dating back to 2003, speaking on the academic programme and exhibiting in the Imaging and Oncology Exhibition. Spreading the benefits of interoperability and working with member vendor organisations to demonstrate interoperability in action to delegates. Manchester 2012 was a typical success.
IHE-UK has over the years organised educational Workshops, with support from BIR, BCS and various NHS organisations and the Vendor and User Communities. Also IHE-Europe has supported a number of these events including the Antilope Summit, held at BCS. Typically these events attract an audience of 100-150 delegates and have a strong programme made up of interoperability experts, government speakers, IHE vendors, key opinion leaders – including clinicians – and often overseas interoperability champions.
In addition to participating at UK Radiology related Congresses, IHE-UK has also been a regular presence at a number of Health IT Exhibitions and Conferences, organised by Health IT media specialists E-Health Insider (Digital Rewired) 2015-2020. These annual events were the main focus of IHE opportunity for IHE members as IHE Profiles provided an excellent basis for interoperability across more Domains, in addition to Radiology. These also include Cardiology, IT Infrastructure, Dental, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Devices, Eye Care, Patient Care Coordination, Pharmacy, Oncology, Endoscopy and Quality Research and Public Health. Mobile Devices are of course a key area for system interoperability today.
The last event was Digital Health Rewired in March 2020. IHE-UK featured at the UK Healthcare Conference, Olympia March 2020.
IHE-UK Members have always played an active part as Monitors at Connectathons since 2003 and almost 20 years on are still doing so. The sudden and untimely passing of two of the original IHE-UK members in 2018, Dr Nick Brown and Dr Dave Harvey, was commemorated by the IHE-Europe team at the Rennes Connectathon in April 2019, the last face-to-face event until that planned for 2022 in Montreux. IHE-Europe Connectathons were held remotely in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID pandemic restrictions.
UK attendees from all aspects of the UK Health IT sector including Interoperability experts, Procurement staff, Government IT staff, Independent Technical specialists, IT Consultants, Clinicians and Health Advisers have all contributed and still contribute to the important task of being a Monitor at both European and US Connectathons, and are expected at the 2022 IHE Connectathon.
In recent years IHE-UK has organised a number of focused Interoperability Days aimed at sharing experiences about Interoperability in different UK Health regions, with specific reference to document and image sharing experiences both in use and planned. These well-attended meetings were aimed both at IHE-UK members and non-members and were part of a planned series of events, unfortunately cut short by the COVID pandemic. It is hoped to relaunch these events once conferences and seminar attendance resumes as face-to-face events are more appropriate for interoperability discussion and networking etc.
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