ETSN  Vol.2 No.4 , December 2013
Using a Health Level 7 Interoperability Bus to Support Legacy Systems in the Health Domain

In order to reduce the effort in the integration and actualization of heterogeneous healthcare legacy systems that should share a common database, we propose the creation of an interoperability bus using the HL7 standard—the HL7Middleware. This interoperability bus is an intermediate layer responsible for the communication between a database, health information systems and medical equipment, called HL7Server. Connected systems use the HL7 messaging semantics to store and retrieve data from the database. We validate our approach with respect to two different criteria: performance and integration costs. Benchmark tests were executed with and without the use of HL7Middleware and with different network bandwidths. These results demonstrated that the performance of the interoperability bus is higher when compared to traditional database access for larger volumes of data and when the bandwidth of the user is considerably lower than the bandwidth of the connection between HL7Server and database. The overall development and deployment cost was considered low and the reusability degree of wrapper code was considered high, thus suggesting a progressive reduction of the integration costs of additional services and subsystems of an organization.


Cite this paper
R. Andrade, A. Wangenheim, A. Savaris and K. Petry, "Using a Health Level 7 Interoperability Bus to Support Legacy Systems in the Health Domain," E-Health Telecommunication Systems and Networks, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2013, pp. 72-80. doi: 10.4236/etsn.2013.24010.
[1]   P. B. Tigre and P. Evans, “Going Beyond Clones in Brazil and Korea: A Comparative Analysis of NIC Strategies in the Computer Industry,” World Development, London, Vol. 17, No. 11, 1989, pp. 1751-1768.

[2]   P. Sanjiv, “Using SQLWindows and Centura: Techniques for Building Client/Server Solutions,” Wiley, Hoboken, 1996.

[3]   A. von Wangenheim, C. L. Barcellos Jr., H. M. Wagner and C. C. Gomes, “Ways to Implement Large Scale Telemedicine: The Santa Catarina Experience,” LatinAmerican Journal of Telehealth, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2009, pp. 364-377.

[4]   A. Onabajo, I. Bilykh and J. Jahnke, “Wrapping Legacy Medical Systems for Integrated Health Network. Migration and Evolvability of Long-Life Software Systems,” In: Proceedings of Net Object Days Workshop on Migration and Evolvability of Long-Life Software Systems, Springer Lecture Notes, Erfurt, 2003.

[5]   F. M. Al-Wasil, W. A. Gray and N. J. Fiddian, “Establishing an XML Metadata Knowledge Base to Assist Integration of Structured and Semi-Structured Databases,” In: Proceedings of the 17th Australasian Database Conference, 49, ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, Hobart, Vol. 170, 2006, pp. 69-78.

[6]   S. Chan, T. Dillon and A. Siu, “Applying a Mediator Architecture Employing XML to Retailing Inventory Control,” The Journal of Systems and Software, Vol. 60, No. 3, 2002, pp. 239-248.

[7]   S. R. Collins, S. Navathe and L. Mark, “XML Schema Mappings for Heterogeneous Database Access,” Information and Software Technology, Vol. 44, No. 4, 2002, pp. 251-257.

[8]   L.-F. Ko, et al., “HL7 Middleware Framework for Healthcare Information System,” In: Proceedings of HEALTHCOM 2006 8th International Conference on e-Health Networking, Applications and Services, New Delhi, 17-19 August 2006, pp. 152-156.

[9]   Y. Xu, D. Salquet, E. Zapletal, D. Lamaitre and P. Degoulet, “Integration of Medical Applications: The ‘Mediator Service’ of the SynEx Platform,” International Journal of Medical Informatics, Vol. 58-59, 2000, pp. 157-166.

[10]   “HL7, Health Level Seven Web Site,” 2012.

[11]   J. Wallauer, D. Macedo, R. Andrade and A. von Wangenheim, “Creating a Statewide Public Health Record Starting from a Telemedicine Network,” IT Professional, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2008, pp. 12-17.