We believe in the physician's needs. We listen to orthodontists who are struggling with technology. We understand how these struggles ultimately translate into poorer healthcare. We believe technology should serve the physician and that the physicians should steer the direction of technology development.
Ever since the release of different orthodontic software, orthodontic providers have identified the need to be able to seamlessly exchange information. However, the industry has not yet responded to this request, maintaining data proprietary and requiring multiple databases with extremely high costs to switch from one software product to the other.
In today's orthodontic practice, the number one most requested support requests have to do with importing and exporting data: "can i get a list of patients with this and those conditions? I need that info for this other text messaging website i use." or "The consultant asked me for this info." or "I really would like to import the patient's data in this other sterilizing equipment software or imaging software i use, so i don't have to re-enter it again". What these users are really asking for, is interoperability. In other words if there existed a standard implemented by most software vendors, which would enable seamless communication between orthodontic products, there would be no more such requests.
PANIO is just this, a non-for-profit project with the goal to serve the orthodontic providers and make their dreams come true. It deals with writing and divulging a standard for electronic orthodontic health records and data.
Our goal is to (1) develop a public orthodontic software standard, approved by clinicians, developers and accredited institutions worldwide and (2) implement the standard in a free, open-source, platform independent software package.
We also believe in making use of the best available existing technology, and are therefore not interesting in re-inventing something that already exists. This is why we chose to collaborate with the American Dental Association Standards Committee for Dental Informatics, Health Level Seven and the NEMA DICOM, which are all well established medical software standard committees. With them, we plan to extend DICOM and HL7 to accommodate all orthodontic data needs and include the instructions of the extended DICOM standard in an ADA Technical Report.
If we want adoption, it is important to demonstrate how cool orthodontics with standards can be. Independently, we plan to prove the functionality of the standard by writing software that directly implements it. The final products (all standard definitions and the implemented software) are meant to be publicly available free of charge to facilitate their distribution.
The project has started in Brazil as partial fulfillment for a Masters Thesis at the Universidade de Brasília. It is now an ongoing private initiative.