6 Aug 2010 lkcl   » (Master)

HL7

just announced an HL7 python importer, which is going to be used in gnumed. HL7 is a data exchange format for the medical profession. typically used to transfer information about patients, treatments, clinical lab reports and so on, it's _very_ comprehensive and has been through five revisions on the XML HL7 v3 specification, already.

HL7 basically stores typed hierarchical information in a flat file. it was created before XML came around, and now someone's added an XML wrapper on top of it.

there's an application called Mirth and unfortunately it's implemented in java. it's _big_ and therefore painful. for example, if you want to do something other than what mirth can cope with by default, you have to create a java extension or, even worse, a javascript one! connect the dots, with python and gnumed (which uses postgresql) and if you want to use mirth to transfer clinical lab data into gnumed, you have to know _eight_ separate programming technologies.

so i decided to look for some existing code in python, and adapt it. seems to be going well.

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