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The JSON validator in support of healthcare interoperability

The Test Bed’s JSON validator is used to support healthcare interoperability and IHE Connectathons

Published on: 19/10/2022
News

The Test Bed’s JSON validator was used in the 2022 Montreux IHE Connectathon for the validation of JSON medical imaging data based on the DICOM standard.

 

IHE Montreux Connectathon

 

IHE (Integrating the Health Enterprise) is a world-wide initiative that enables healthcare IT system users and suppliers to work together to enable interoperability of IT systems. A key step in enabling such interoperability are the IHE Connectathons, annual events where healthcare IT vendors have the opportunity to meet and test their systems with other vendors or simulators in a controlled and neutral environment based on open source tools and test plans. Vendors that succeed in these tests are listed in the Connectathon results matrix, while at the same time the IHE Profiles, the underlying technical specifications, are ensured as being clear and capable of consistent implementation.

The latest, 2022 edition of the IHE Connectathon, took place in Montreux Switzerland and in parallel in Atlanta USA, between the 12th and 16th of September. The Montreux Connectathon in particular saw the registration of 53 systems from 35 vendors, engaging in more than 2000 successfully verified test runs. Supporting this activity was Kereval, a test engineering laboratory providing services focused on IT system testing, which since 2012 has been collaborating with IHE-Europe to support IHE Connectathons. Kereval maintains the Gazelle testing platform, the software used to organise and monitor IHE Connectathon tests, but also provides part of the staff needed during the events to monitor and validate test runs.

In preparation of the Montreux Connectathon, experts from Kereval contacted the Test Bed team regarding the use of the Test Bed’s JSON validation service, a generic service that enables validators for JSON content to be defined in a configuration-driven manner, either hosted by the Test Bed “as-a-service” or set up on-premise. The specific scenario at hand was the validation of JSON files related to the DICOM standard (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine), and in particular DICOMweb which is the DICOM Standard for web-based medical imaging. DICOMweb foresees the representation of imaging data as JSON and its exchange over HTTP through RESTful services, and is incorporated into new IHE Profiles such as the Web-based Image Access (WIA) and Artificial Intelligence Results (AIR). The resulting validator, configured and hosted by Kereval, enables validation of JSON content against these new IHE Profiles and is available here.

DICOM validator

The validator was launched for the Montreux Connectathon and was used during the event to validate messages based on the new WIA and AIR IHE Profiles, supporting more than 500 tests in the radiology domain where DICOM and DICOMweb are used. In addition, it was also showcased to vendors as a standalone validation service, being well received and receiving good feedback.

The future vision for the validator is to continue offering it as an online service and supporting tool for Connectathons. Supporting Kereval on this, the Test Bed team is extending the validator’s integration options with a new REST API, to enable further use cases and facilitate its usage alongside other IHE Connectathon validators. It is important to note that such extensions, although driven from feedback received through the latest IHE Connectathon, will be generally applicable to all JSON validators, complementing the already available SOAP API as an alternative integration option. In fact, offering validation via REST API will also be similarly rolled out for the Test Bed’s other validators (for XML and CSV content), complementing the RDF validator which is currently the only Test Bed validator to already offer this.

Details on the use and configuration of the Test Bed’s JSON validator as well as validators for other syntaxes, can be found in the validators’ respective guides (see for XML, RDF, JSON and CSV cases). These guides, apart from offering detailed documentation to configure and launch a validator, are also the best place to start if you have never used such a validator before. If you are new to the Test Bed as a whole, general details can be found in its Joinup space with its value proposition being a good starting point for newcomers. Finally, if you are interested in receiving the Test Bed’s news, apart from subscribing to notifications, you may also follow the Interoperable Europe’s social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn) for updates on the Test Bed and other interoperability solutions.

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