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#DICOM Education Day 2016

There’s a fantastic DICOM education event coming up in September, in Dalian City, China. From the conference website –

The 2016 DICOM Education Day in China will include lectures by international DICOM experts to promote the uniform understanding and adoption of the DICOM Standard and encourage participation in the DICOM Standard development and maintenance process. DICOM also invites local speakers to talk about local DICOM and medical imaging topics, the local healthcare system, and the use of Information Technology.

More information and registration (free of charge!) is available at http://dicomconference.org !

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Imaging on FHIR at Connectathon

There is an exciting event coming up at the next HL7 FHIR Connectathon, in Chicago on Sept. 13-14. One of the announced tracks is on DICOMweb and FHIR ImagingStudy. This track will explore the intersections between the two standards, elicit feedback on what we got right in aligning the two standards together, and likely create/show some stellar implementations in the process.

Given the success of this year’s hackathon at SIIM, I think this connectathon track will be very interesting. At SIIM, I witnessed magic being made, as those participating created exciting new integrations from the standards. There is so much unlocked potential when considering how the two can be integrated; the insight and feedback from September’s event will be very, very interesting.

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Recommended: REST Feature Survey

Last year, I had the opportunity to attend a pair of fantastic API conferences, which brought together thought leaders for APIs and REST, from a variety of industries. It was incredible to share battle stories from my healthcare perspective with those of other industries – social media, banking, and multimedia for example – and learning how their problems apply to the healthcare space. This is a topic that is worthy of its own blog post.

Earlier this month, however, a few of the organizers opened a survey on the use of REST in various APIs across the spectrum. The website address is:

http://apiatlas.com/

It is beyond helpful to understand what others are doing, and how they are putting REST to work. It is a great resource to consider future API developments – both in understanding what others are doing, and what consumers of REST ultimately want. I have referred to it several times now in formulating the next generation of standards. I recommend checking this out, and if you are a REST developer, definitely consider contributing to this survey, for the benefit of all.

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What Drives Me

I spent the last couple of days at the I Love APIs 2013 conference. There were fantastic presentations, great and insightful conversations, and hacker-esque food (although no fried chicken and waffles). Listening to and being among those that are as passionate about APIs as me, is very inspirational – and it gave me pause to consider what drives me to do what I love to do.

My passion really compromises of two halves. First of all, after spending a decade cutting my teeth on healthcare information technology has really changed and shaped my perspective. Knowing the state of healthcare – how it is now, and where is it going – is really quite fascinating. For a vertical that truly means the difference between life or death, it boggles my mind that it has been so far behind other industries. It reminds me of a Jerry Seinfeld parable, where he talks about science and seedless watermelons. We have so many different areas that need attention – AIDS, cancer, heart disease, and we have scientists using their time developing a better seedless watermelon. It is staggering. Technologically speaking, while I imagine that there is a time and place for flatulence sound applications, there shouldn’t be much more paramount than healthcare. Health will eventually fail for us all. Healthcare needs the attention, the brunt and the force, of the developer. And the best way to mobilize this force, is with the API.

The API (application programming interface), my other passion, changes and transforms everything it touches. In the last few years, APIs have become more and more intertwined in our daily lives – it has become ubiquitous, and don’t even know it is happening. APIs provide the gateway to information. It is amazing, for me, to watch the bits align, like stars, as information is unlocked to create knowledge. It truly is a beautiful thing. 

These two circles, healthcare IT and the API, where they intersect, is incredibly exciting. I think that we are on the cusp for things that have never been seen before. 

Bonus: If I were to equate my love with the API with another brief TV vignette, it would be an episode of episode of Futurama in which space pilots Fry and Leela attempt a rescue of their colleague Bender by disguising themselves as robots, only to be faced with robot guards meant to prevent humans from entering. To safeguard this, they had a skill testing question. “Which would you rather have – a) a puppy, b) a flower from your sweetie, or c) a large, properly formatted data file?”. Indeed, a large, properly formatted data file is something magical.