In April 2019, IHE International and SNOMED International formally announced a license agreement encouraging data consistency and interoperability across international boundaries, with benefits for clinical care, research and operational efficiency.
Through this agreement, the organizations have agreed on the production of a SNOMED CT IHE Set which includes a jointly decided upon set of SNOMED CT concepts and identifiers within IHE profiles. By placing the SNOMED CT codes referenced in IHE profiles under a free international license, the current agreement reduces incentives for national groups to specify variant code sets based on other terminologies.
The SNOMED CT value sets specified in IHE profiles are selected to ensure data consistency and interoperability in support of a variety of clinical use cases. IHE profiles are developed in eleven active clinical and operational domains. SNOMED CT value sets referenced in these profiles are typically used to bind coded values to content in structured documents, discrete data elements and metadata. Approximately 30 IHE profiles reference SNOMED CT value sets as of the date of this agreement.
Over the course of the 5 year agreement, the SNOMED CT IHE Set will be updated officially annually, taking into account updates to the IHE profiles which are performed annually in each IHE domain. Thirty-seven profiles within 6 domains currently fall within the scope of the agreement. Phast-Services, based in Paris, France, will serve as experts on behalf of IHE to maintain the SNOMED CT IHE Set.
The IHE freeset is available as part of SNOMED International's Global Patient Set. The GPS is a managed collection of existing reference sets, available to any user at no cost. The GPS offers clinical content across dentistry, renal, family & general practice and nursing areas, and includes IHE, DICOM and HL7 International Patient Summary (IPS) domains and activities.