The future of interoperability: What we will need and how we might get it, is the speaking topic of Dr. Charles Jaffe, CEO from global organisation Health Level Seven International (HL7) at the eHealth Interoperability conference. Dr Jaffe will explore how the struggle to achieve interoperability has been hampered by a multitude of factors, some readily solvable, some less seemingly insurmountable. In all cases, policy trumps technology. In addition, the end-user and the vendors alike are trapped in a maze of legacy systems and a demand for backward compatibility. Conflicting requirements for data liquidity in the face of privacy and security cannot be understated. The principles of mobility and mobile data streams further complicate the security demands requested or imposed by individuals and by governments. The need for robust vocabularies or even ontologies has been complicated by rapidly evolving and occasionally entirely new concepts in biology and our understanding of genetics and genomics. The health delivery system and the pharmaceutical industry bring an increasing level of fiscal stress to the already complex environment of healthcare disparities and an aging population. Practical solutions as well as sometimes bold and disruptive innovation are required.
As the Chief Executive Officer of HL7, Dr. Jaffe serves as the organization’s global ambassador, fostering relationships with key industry stakeholders. A 37-year veteran of the healthcare IT industry, Dr. Jaffe was previously the Senior Global Strategist for the Digital Health Group at Intel Corporation, Vice President of Life Sciences at SAIC, and the Director of Medical Informatics at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals. He completed his medical training at Johns Hopkins and Duke Universities, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health and at Georgetown University. Formerly, he was President of InforMed, an informatics consultancy for research informatics. Over the course of his career, he has been the principal investigator for more than 200 clinical trials, and has served in various leadership roles in the American Medical Informatics Association. He has been a board member on leading organizations for information technology standards, and served as the chair of a national institutional review board. Most recently, he held an appointment in the Department of Engineering at Penn State University. Dr. Jaffe has been the contributing editor for several journals and has published on a range of subjects, including clinical management, informatics deployment, and healthcare policy.