The International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO) is adding workbench tools to help develop, maintain, and facilitate the use of SNOMED CT in health systems around the world and offering the system free to low-income countries.
The IHTSDO Workbench tools will form a foundation for a multilingual modular workbench that will host terminology browsing, authoring, subset and other reference set management, mapping, and namespace management applications. It will also permit users to work independently or collaborate on tasks.
Additional Workbench models will be added to encourage partners to build and share complementary tools. John Gutai, IHTSDO’s chief technical architect, says this is critical to developing a shared healthcare terminology that is grounded in common language-independent concepts. Eleven countries have joined to support the on-going development and maintenance of SNOMED CT and related standards.
To further encourage standardized clinical terminologies, IHTSDO will also offer free SNOMED CT access licenses in non-member and low-income countries for research projects qualifying on humanitarian or charitable grounds.
In the initial phase of SMOMED CT expansion, health care providers and others in the 49 countries categorized as low-income by the World Bank will be able to use the system for public health information, electronic health records, health research and other applications. See the World Bank’s list of low-income economies as of January 2009.
IHTSDO develops and maintains international health terminology, notably SNOMED CT, to support the safe, accurate, and effective exchange of health information. The NLM is the U.S. member of IHTSDO.
Note: The January 2009 International Release of SNOMED CT is now available to IHTSDO Members and Affiliate License holders.