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The first part of the project involves defining and getting approval for the standard.

Currently, we see two ways to pursue this task:

  1. Work on top of ADA SCDI Specification No. 1000 "Standard Clinical Data Architecture for the Structure And Content of an Electronic Health Record", creating a similar documentation specific to orthodontics.


  1. Implement the orthodontic electronic data standard using other existing more implemented standards, such as HL7 and DICOM.

The first approach could be more desirable for the fact that it might present the least amount of work: it definitely is the closest published work to our project. If the documentation is well structured (we haven't looked at it yet), defining and appending an orthodontic domain to it should not present too much trouble.

On the other hand, to our knowledge, the ADA Spec 1000 has never been implemented. Hence the possibilities of it containing errors is large. Besides, it is not motivating to write a standard with the prospect of it probably not being implemented.

For this reason, the second approach might seem more appropriate: both HL7 and DICOM are very established and implemented standards. After all, the majority of imaging devices read and write images in DICOM format, and 90% of US hospitals are currently using some variation of HL7.

The available support for refining and/or implementing these standards also speak in favor of using them. In both cases there are large active communities, much more active than the ADA SCDI, backing them up. This means it would be easier to develop a higher quality standard in less time.