Medical Interoperability is being able to collect all the healthcare data pertaining to a patient in one location so a clinician can make value based decisions based on comprehensive patient information. For true medical interoperability, there needs to be a patient oriented focus where data is collected across the different healthcare disciplines software and medical devices.
Most outpatients are connected to at least 3 medical devices and interact with at least one healthcare software during their visit and inpatients are connected to many more. These devices and software are often not sending data to the same repository.
Medical devices and software have an internal collection and storage of patient data for viewing and creating trends. For this data to be made available in a patient centric location, it would need to be retrieved from the source and then converted to a format that is understandable. The conversion of data from all the disparate sources into a common understandable format is called semantic interoperability. Semantic interoperability is needed for making sense of the data and analyze it for meaningful interpretation.