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Syadem and SNOMED collaboration supports vaccination information interoperability

April 25, 2024

SNOMED International is excited to announce a new collaboration with France-based company SYADEM that aims to deliver a comprehensive terminology system to health organizations, enabling them to accurately represent administered vaccines.

SYADEM owns and manages the Unified Nomenclature of Vaccines (NUVA), a terminology used to capture, interpret, and process records of administered vaccines. 

SYADEM participates in the European Vaccination beyond COVID (EUVABECO) project, which is co-funded by the European Commission under the eU4Health program. By mid 2026, EUVABECO will deliver implementation plans for innovative vaccination practices to EU Member States. The plans will support the operationalization of several tools including a portable European Vaccination Card (EVC). NUVA is the intended code system for documenting administered vaccines in the EVC.

Through a five-year agreement, this collaboration aims to facilitate the creation of comprehensive vaccination histories for individuals over time, regardless of the original vaccine source and data format.

As part of the agreement, SNOMED CT and SYADEM will collaborate to integrate NUVA content as an extension in SNOMED International’s Community Content Area. Furthermore, they will define processes for ensuring content alignment and, where relevant, NUVA concepts will be included in the SNOMED CT International Edition.  

The collaboration will harmonize NUVA and SNOMED CT terminologies, offering users flexibility in code selection, facilitating smooth implementation. 

SNOMED CT is a comprehensive, multilingual healthcare terminology created for use by healthcare professionals. It enables the care of individuals to be captured in electronic health records, facilitating information sharing, decision support and analytics for safe and effective health information exchange.

NUVA, developed by vaccinologists, is both a vocabulary and a comprehensive knowledge base. Its purpose is to capture vaccine information that is relevant for clinical decision-making, regardless of the record’s format - either digital or paper. It then acts as a universal coding system that enhances the transcription and transferability of vaccine information across various terminologies, complementing rather than replacing existing systems. 

NUVA and SNOMED CT complement each other: NUVA provides codes for current and historical vaccines, while SNOMED CT provides codes that represent the foundational concepts for contextualizing this vaccine information. The SNOMED International Drug Extension User Support Group has endorsed the approach, recognising that the collaboration facilitates a unified approach to the collection of vaccine information over time.

SNOMED International CEO Don Sweete says, “In addition to providing a solution that will meet both clinical and regulatory requirements globally, the collaboration will demonstrate the benefits of using SNOMED CT as a foundation to model. When we talk about SNOMED CT as the global language of health, this is what we mean,” he adds. “We get closer to making that a reality with every new content-focused collaboration. The COVID-19 pandemic consolidated for everyone the need for greater healthcare data interoperability, and this partnership moves that forward.” 

Jean-Louis Koeck, Scientific Director at SYADEM, shared, “SYADEM is dedicated to making NUVA a common good, publicly available to any user. Furthermore, we are exploring the possibility of transitioning ownership of NUVA to a community of stakeholders in the near future, as part of our dedication to shared health advancements. Our collaboration with SNOMED CT represents a significant milestone in this journey.”

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