Thursday, February 12, 2009

PHGrid/NHIN Interoperability

Dr. Savel and I were talking a bit today about how PHGrid and NHIN could interoperate.

NHIN works with two basic components: Gateways and Adapters. The Gateway is a common set of SOA infrastructure that is able to communicate with other Gateways within the NHIN. The Gateway is deployed within each participating network (e.g. CDC, NIH, DoD, VA, etc.) and uses an Adapter to translate NHIN traffic into the protocols necessary on the participating network.

Since the PHGrid set of web service protocols (WS-I, WS-Security, SOAP 1.1) are the same protocols used by NHIN, each PHGrid node is effectively an NHIN gateway. So any PHGrid node is able to communicate with any NHIN gateway (hosting services and calling services).

So what the PHIRG needs to test is security interoperability with NHIN. This can be accomplished by mapping an NHIN certificate to a PHGrid service and testing execution. We've done similar tests with Utah and caGrid networks, so this should be something worthwhile to test with ONC.

This has great potential as it would expand the reach of the NHIN into wherever PHGrid nodes are deployed (assuming the node security admins allow NHIN users to connect to their local node).

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