Health and Technology

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 261–272 | Cite as

Interoperability for medical information systems: an overview

  • Randa Hammami
  • Hatem Bellaaj
  • Ahmed Hadj Kacem
Original Paper


As it is known to all, there is an imperative need for electronic transfer of healthcare information (patients’ records, laboratory analyses, medical images…) between healthcare organizations to improve the quality level they are offering. However, medical information systems in each organization are different from each other. These different systems compose a heterogeneous, distributed system with high complexity: there are a large number of healthcare related applications that support specific needs effectively but are isolated or incompatible. Thus medical information systems’ interoperability constitutes one of the main challenges of the IT society. Semantic interoperability in healthcare is important especially when all the varying types of data need to interact. Presented in this paper are the most relevant works to our knowledge, dealing with interoperability in medical information systems and a comparative study between the new proposed approaches and research trends to resolve heterogeneity issues.


Medical information system Heterogeneity Semantic interoperability Cloud computing SOA Ontology 



clinical electronic documents


Digital Imaging and COMmunication in medecine


Electronic Health Record


Health Level 7


Health Service Bus


Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes


Medical Information System


Magnetic Resonance Imaging


Ontology as a Service


Ontology Lookup Service (OLS)


Picture Archiving and Communication System


Regenstrief LOINC Mapping Assistant


CT: Systematised Nomenclature of Medicine Clinical Terms


Software Oriented Architecture


Semantic Web Services


Virtual Private Network




Web Workflow Peer


Web Workflow Peer Directory


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© IUPESM and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Randa Hammami
    • 1
  • Hatem Bellaaj
    • 1
  • Ahmed Hadj Kacem
    • 1
  1. 1.ReDCAD LaboratoryNational School of Engineers of SfaxSfaxTunisia

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