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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Datuit asserts patent may be applicable to HL7 FHIR

In my inbox this morning.  I haven't read the patent yet, but the first claim may be very recognizable to anyone working in IHE in 2003 - 2007.


Datuit, LLC has advised HL7 of a recent patent they’ve received that MAY be applicable to the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) Protocol Specification. The letter from Datuit alerting HL7 to the patent can be found at 

An abstract of the patent (US8931039) entitled Method and System for a Document-based Knowledge System is available at:

Section 16 of the HL7 Governance and Operations Manual (GOM) addresses patents, and section 16.03.02 requires members/participants to issue a letter of assurance to HL7 for any patent  or patent applications felt to be applicable to HL7 Protocol Specifications. The letter of assurance from Datuit can be found here:

HL7 is not responsible for identifying patents for which a license may be required to implement an HL7 Protocol Specification (Section 02.02) or for conducting inquiries into the legal validity or scope of those patents that are brought to its attention. HL7 Headquarters shall notify the membership via email of any patent claims leveled against the HL7 Protocol Specifications. This announcement fulfills HL7’s requirement to notify the membership of this patent.

Karen Van Hentenryck


  1. It's a non-centralized set of repositories where every repository has copies of all documents, they also have magic that synchronizes them and is able to predict what information you want when you are about to query it.

    Think XDS with mirroring instead of federation and elves that can predict the documents you want.

    1. Note that predictivity is not associated with Claim 1 or its derivatives. Also, the ability to duplicate documents in repositories was anticipated as a capability in both IHE XDS and XCA.

    2. The elves are called Accelerator appliocations and are in Claim 2

      "2. The method of claim 1, further comprising the steps of:
      (a) Providing one or more accelerator applications running on computer processing equipment controlled by a gate server that are under the control of the gate server software;
      (b) wherein the accelerator applications predict what documents or other information under the control of the gate server software will be requested by individual authenticated entities; and
      (c) wherein the accelerator applications prepare the predicted documents or other information for delivery to the authenticated entity."

  2. Looks like XDS to me. But doesn't even mention it

  3. If you leave the word "health" out of the patent, it sounds pretty much like any distributed document data store that has some form of authentication, authorization, and some query interface that allows you to combine data from multiple documents. Oh, and some form of predictive algorithm that pre-combines that data so it doesn't have to be done on the fly. From that part, I'm guessing the aggregation of document data is expensive, so maybe the backend is either an XML database or just flat XML files.

    I've met some big XDS implementers that do basically this (although I haven't seen the source, so I don't really know if they pre-render patient summaries).