Background: The ongoing healthcare transformation results in systems medicine and personalized care. This requires advanced interoperability scenarios.
Objectives: The paper aims at introducing a reference architecture model to enable the harmonization of existing and future specifications and standards.
Methods: For enabling the harmonization of standards and specifications, they have to be correctly and formally represented using a system-theoretical, architecture-centric, ontology-based, policy-driven approach.
Results: An Interoperability Reference Architecture Model has been developed and standardized at ISO TC 215 and CEN TC 251. It is used for re-engineering specifications and standards, that way enabling harmonization with any other specification. The proposed modeling methodology has also been introduced in several HL7 specifications. It is demonstrated by re-engineering the ISO 13606 reference model.
Conclusion: The approach presented in the paper off ers a solution for comprehensive interoperability at any interoperability level also including user domains and the individual user. That way, never-ending revision cycles and negotiation rounds for integrating diff erent specifications in complex eHealth solutions become obsolete.