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Importance of Projectathons
Products implementing IHE Profiles are tested at (annual) IHE-Europe Connectathons, participants execute peer testing following test plans developed by IHE, resolve their issues and gain confidence in their implementation. With the experience gained during the Connectathons, it is appropriate to apply the same process to verify the conformance of products to project specifications. These specific test sessions, narrowed to a subset of IHE Profiles and designed to fit a particular context, are known as Projectathons.

n addition to testing products, Projectathons give the opportunity to meet and educate local professionals involved in the project (software editors, eHealth experts and users). A secondary objective is to quickly gather feedback on the project specifications to accelerate their development and adoption. More than one Projectathon may be necessary to meet the project objectives. The scope of each testing iteration is tailored to the project’s maturity at that specific time. At the early stages of interoperability specification development, the Projectathon aims to communicate about the project, relevant IHE Profiles and the underlying standards. After further iteration, the specifications gain more maturity that allows testing of more and more requirements.
When the project specifications are sufficiently tested, the final stage leads to introduce Conformity Assessment, a more rigorous testing phase.
The scope of the Projectathon is determined by the project need and scope for interoperability. The first step is to identify or even develop the interoperability specifications to be tested. The Use Case driven methodology developed by IHE-Europe is beneficial to produce relevant interoperability frameworks. Software editors and eHealth experts should be involved from the early stage of the process to contribute to training sessions on the underlying IHE Profiles and appropriate standards and give early feedback.

Projectathons have grown in numbers and in terms of their contribution to interoperability since the first Projectathon, organised in Slovakia in December 2010 to demonstrate the feasibility of the European project called epSOS (European Patient Smart Open Service). In the last 12 months 11 Projectathons have taken place several organised for the eHDSI (eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure) project, with others taking place in Ireland, Switzerland (EPR – Electronic Patient Record), France, Gabon and more recently in Greece.

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(source: IHE Europe)