Health DWG


Gupta, Ajay (Health Solutions Research, Inc.) - Group Chair

Group Charter:

Download Charter document

Group Description:

The OGC Health Summit final report and presentations are on our wiki page


Purpose of an OGC Health Domain Working Group

The OGC Health Domain Working Group enables OGC to identify and work with a representative group of market participants in the identification and prioritization of use cases, business and technical requirements that will provide the most significant value, or mitigate the most significant risks in this arena.  Through efforts to identify requirements, gaps in standards and opportunities for demonstration, a Health Domain Working Group contributes to development of open mapping standards in support of health marketplace requirements.   Through bringing together geospatial vendors and end-users, the OGC Health Domain Working Group helps to cultivate technical solutions which support interoperable concepts, data definitions, formats and services for publishing, search, and exchange of geospatial information.

Roles of the OGC Health Domain Working Group include but are not limited to, activities to:

  1. Convene OGC members and non-members across the health and geospatial domains.
  2. Build Capacity for technical solutions, knowledge exchange, requirements gathering and prioritization of geohealth solutions. 
  3. Assimilate Inputs toward geospatial standards development, including data definitions, formats, and services for publishing, discovery, exchange, and queryability of geospatial information.
  4. Help to focus on sub-sets of health where geospatial data and interoperability are required.
  5. Spawn Demonstration Projects, Interoperability Experiments, and Interoperability Pilots.
  6. Learn from and Educate and Inform Health communities-of-practice.

The format of the OGC Health Domain Working Group is Public – i.e. open to OGC members and non-members. This will enhance the opportunity for health sector, government agencies, and geospatial community to collaborate in user/technical requirements gathering, development of standards, knowledge exchange, demonstration through interoperability projects of open mapping standards in support of various health marketplace requirements.

This working group will articulate spatial interoperability requirements in a wide range of health applications, such as: global public health, health disaster response, telemedicine, bio-medical research, in-hospital navigation, wearable devices, epidemiological surveillance integrated with related environmental and socioeconomic data; and modeling and responding to cross-border health risks. The group will seek to identify possible health industry "profiles" of standards, and also gaps in current standards.

See our Charter and Wiki Page.

Join the OGC Health DWG Listserve.

Statement of Needs / Strategic Objectives

Based on previous research, health stakeholder consultation, and implementations of OGC web map standards in support of health, the following list summarizes potential focus areas / marketplace needs to be addressed by an OGC Health Domain Working Group.  Areas of interest that are lower priority (but align well) are included as the Appendix.

  1. Address interoperability requirements – e.g. support more effective health surveillance using open mapping standards to access distributed geospatial data pertaining to disease, disease vectors and vulnerable communities / populations. The WHO has called for systematic approaches to monitoring environmental determinants of health, reducing population vulnerability and mitigating risks or impacts from infectious and vector borne diseases.
  2. Develop and support communication strategies and market research, including for take-to-market of OGC standards / OGC-compliant technologies which serve the health marketplace and as part of National Health Information Systems
  3.    Support cross-border surveillance initiatives - e.g. modeling, exercising, responding to cross-border health risks
  4.    Advance best practices for visualization of Chronic and Infectious Diseases, and related environmental and socioeconomic data, using open mapping standards – e.g. to support epidemiology, surveillance, control, treatment, prevention, and education activities
  5. Exchange best practices for health information Privacy, Exchange and Visualization / OR / Develop best practices for implementation of OGC web service standards (together) in order to protect privacy, personally identifiable information and re-identification, while providing permission-based access (for example: best practices for exchange / visualization of Health Level 7 (HL7) geospatial data; for Telemedicine; or for Medical and Micro-Biological applications; non exhaustive)
  6. Facilitate cross-SDO collaboration, for example: Pursue working relationship with members of other standards groups such as OASIS (e.g. XSPA-TC), HL7, SDMX-HD (ISO 17369:2013), as well as with the World Health Organization (possibly also the UN SDI), and national health and geospatial data providers, toward harmonization of HL7, OASIS, SMDX-HD (e.g. establish a mapping between O&M and SDMX-HD); and possibly others.
  7. Advance best practices for various use cases using open geospatial standards – e.g. to support modeling of climate impacts on public health, risk assessment and reduction (e.g. to heat events, reduced air quality, vector borne disease, floods, drought, fire, extreme weather, changes in food production and water quality, social impacts of displacement and exposure of vulnerable populations).  This includes supporting efforts to standardize interoperable interfaces for health and climate models at a scale appropriate to decision making (regional and temporal) while protecting privacy of personal health information.  Some climate sensitive diseases include: chronic respiratory illness, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and communicable influenza; as well as other infectious diseases like West Nile Virus, cholera, malaria; meningococcal meningitis, dengue hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis, rift valley fever, Yellow fever.

Further Statements of Need that may be addressed by the proposed OGC Health DWG:

 Of Technical Nature:

  1. Create a queryable catalogue or dictionary of data types, definitions, and sources, useful in the health marketplace (for various types of applications)
  2. Create a relational index or registry(?) of features, classes, attributes, value ranges, coordinate methodologies, physical data model mappings, semantic ontologies / models, and logical linkages of into and out of several large complex data models.
  3. Formalize schemas (GML, WFS, WPS, etc) and machine-to-machine interoperable interfaces
  4. Formalize transfer of coordinate systems / POIs, which are specific in the health domain
  5. Examine potential health applications using building information (BIM), Industry Foundation Classes (IFC), US and Canada National Information Exchange Models (NIEM), and others.
  6. Facilitate development and exchange of relational, hierarchical, and semantic models useful in the health marketplace (for various types of applications)
  7. More and more IoT devices, such as wearable sensors, network-enabled weight scale, network-enabled blood pressure monitors, will be used in order to enable the telemedicine vision. As the number of such devices grows, these devices require standards to exchange data and tasking capabilities.  The OGC IoT SWG is developing the IoT RESTful API, specifically for the power-constrained IoT devices….
  8. Facilitate interoperability experiments (driven by community-of-practice needs, e.g. use cases described above/below)
  9. Collect/Develop Business Cases (case studies) demonstrating value (scientifically, economically, ROI) of technical solutions using OGC standards

 Other Community of Practice Needs that may be addressed:

  1. Create a common repository and list-serve
  2. Identify geospatial data and web service encodings which support or align well with requirements of the Geo Health and Environment Community-of-Practice (GEOSS), and the larger health community.
  3. Facilitate adoption of OGC standards based technical solutions within national health information systems (i.e. through pilot demonstrations, research, and education)
  4. Advance best practices using open mapping standards – e.g. toward Public Health management and cost reduction; resource allocation for health emergencies, to protect vulnerable populations, and in response to changing geo-demographics (e.g. older populations with higher prevalence of chronic respiratory illness, diabetes, and cancer, among others) and a changing environment.
  5. Support Policy, Research, Education – e.g. support development of policy, research, best practices, and education in the use of open mapping standards to monitor trends and changes in public health, for risk identification, communication, and disease prevention in vulnerable populations.
  6. Support collaborative research into cumulative, synergistic, non-linear impacts (e.g. ecosystem fragmentation) to health, for risk assessment and reduction, in developed and developing world (using available technologies)
  7. Facilitate members to build capacity to implement technical solutions, promote affordable solutions
  8. Facilitate members to implement technical solutions which enable geospatial data entry/collection, integration, exchange, visualization, etc. for desktop, web, and mobile applications
  9. Raise awareness, or create a calendar, of training opportunities
  10. Other use cases (involving the use of OGC standards based technical solutions) as identified

Chair - Ajay K Gupta, CISSP, MBA,

Founding Chair Eddie Oldfield, Founding Co-chair Dr. Kym Watson, Fraunhofer IOSB