4 November 2013 – At the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®)Technical Committee plenary meeting on 26 September, the Technical Committeeapproved the charter for a new OGC Health Domain Working Group (DWG). Thecharter is available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/groups/healthdwg.

In 2010 the OGC partnered with technological, health, andresearch organizations on athree-year research project funded through the European Commission's 7thFramework Program. The project was called EO2Heaven (Earth Observation andEnvironmental Modeling for the Mitigation of Health Risks). The openstandards-based Spatial Information Infrastructure developed for EO2Heaven wasimplemented in case studies in Dresden, Germany, the Durban industrial basin inSouth Africa, and Uganda.

Open standards were vital to thisproject, supporting cross-domain communication among partners in diverse fieldsand locations and facilitating the integration and analysis of spatial,temporal, and epidemiological data. The project also addressed privacy issues andintellectual property implications. See http://www.eo2heaven.org/ for more information.

Seeing the success and potential of thisproject and the growing need for interoperability in the healthcare and publichealth fields, a group of OGC members formed the Health DWG. This working groupwill articulate spatial interoperability requirements in a wide range of healthapplications, such as: telemedicine, bio-medical research, in-hospitalnavigation, wearable devices, epidemiological surveillance integrated withrelated environmental and socioeconomic data; and modeling and responding tocross-border health risks. The group will seek to identify possible healthindustry “profiles” of standards, and also gaps in current standards.       

Initiators of the OGC Health DomainWorking Group include ESRI; IOSB Fraunhofer; Eddie Oldfield, an IndividualMember of the OGC; The SI Organization and the UK Met Office. The UniversityCorporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), University of Nottingham, andothers (both OGC members and non-members) have endorsed this effort.

Eddie Oldfield is the interim chair ofthe new DWG.  Co-chair nominations arewelcome.

Members of the public can follow theactivities of the OGC Health DWG, make comments, and subscribe to the HealthDWG listserv at the OGC Health DWG web page.

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 475companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universitiesparticipating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatialstandards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that”geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, andmainstream IT. OGC standards empower technology developers to make geospatialinformation and services accessible and useful with any application that needsto be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact.