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New Consortium Seeks to Move FHIR Genomics Standard Into Clinical Practice

WASHINGTON, DC (GenomeWeb) – Looking to move an emerging standard for clinical genomics data interoperability into the clinic as quickly as possible, one of the standard's key developers is inviting potential users to participate in a series of implementation activities.

At the Health Level Seven International Genomics Conference in Washington, DC, today, HL7 Clinical Genomics Workgroup Cochair Gil Alterovitz announced the creation of the Consortium for Agile Genomics. "The idea is to promote implementations of an HL7 genomics platform to provide project support, certification, expertise, and validation tools to help its members to navigate, implement, and to collaborate on challenges of genomic integration," he said.

The consortium's work will center around the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) Genomics specification, according to Alterovitz, who also is the director of the Harvard Medical School Biomedical Cybernetics Laboratory and leader of the FHIR Genomics project. FHIR Genomics is an HL7 standard that remains under development, though HL7 members last month approved a series of use cases to expand beyond pilot programs.

Alterovitz expects the consortium to identify "priority" use cases by mid-year and to have implementation partners on board for the first phase of FHIR Genomics implementation within these priority use cases later in 2018. "The scope of this phase is to define business requirements, finalize the certification framework, and design materials for implementation sprints," according to a one-page handout circulated at the conference.

These sprints are quickly run activities meant to build incrementally on earlier work to advance FHIR Genomics and promote data interoperability.