Ontoserver to underpin NHS Digital Terminology Service for UK

November 12th, 2020

CSIRO’s Ontoserver® is to become the foundation of the NHS Digital Terminology Service for use across the United Kingdom, NHS Digital and CSIRO have announced. NHS Digital will be the second national Government Agency to adopt Ontoserver and the FHIR Terminology Service APIs to enable vendors and healthcare organisations with streamlined access to national terminologies and code systems.

As an industry-leading FHIR-native terminology server, Ontoserver has been powering the National Clinical Terminology Service in Australia for over 4 years, with more than 1300 registered users. It has established an ecosystem of terminology capability, enabling syndication of terminology resources from the national service, and removing a number of the technical barriers to adoption of standardised clinical terminology.

NHS Digital is expanding this vision of a terminology ecosystem, and is implementing Ontoserver as a national service to support both Terminology and Registry Content management, creating a one stop shop for access to all of the NHS terminologies, classifications, and code systems. They expect to make over 3000 different code systems available via the FHIR API. In order to scale collaborative development and manage content under a range of licence conditions, NHS Digital is implementing several new CSIRO-developed software components that support Ontoserver’s new per-resource community based tagging and security model.

The new software components are:

  • Atomio – a dedicated ATOM-based syndicated service that simplifies the packaging and governance of terminology resources.
  • Ontocloak – an extension to the well-known Keycloak authorisation service that provides SMART on FHIR compatible OAuth2 authorization capability, and enables existing enterprise identity services to be used with Ontoserver’s new Community-based security model.
    The goal is collaborative development and sharing of code systems, value sets and concept maps among a truly connected community of users including terminologists, health informaticians, data scientists, clinicians, and software engineers. This will lead to interoperable health data, improved reporting, and advance analytics, all supported by modern IT standards.

CSIRO has also made a number of enhancements to our existing terminology tools. NHS Digital will be making use of recent Snapper upgrades to streamline aspects of the editing UI, support SMART launch for access to terminology servers requiring authentication, and to manage per-resource security labels.

Partnering with DXC means that we can deliver an end to end fully managed service to the NHS – combining DXC’s experience in delivering business critical solutions for the NHS with the proven terminology capability of Ontoserver.

More information is available from the NHS Terminology Solution and CSIRO press releases.

And read more information on Ontoserver.