I'm looking for a standard to access terminology services. A terminology service provides an generalized API to multiple terminologies like ICD10, MedDRA, Snomed, Loinc etc. But I'm looking for a generalized API over multiple terminology services. I don't want to implement an interface for each terminology service which the users need.

I found some things like OMG Common Terminology Services v1.2 (uses SOAP) or HL7/FHIR (uses REST). But I'm not familiar with the current status of a global standard in this area. Is there such a standard?

As an example of a terminology service I have found https://digital.nhs.uk/services/terminology-servers. It provides access to multiple terminologies. There are other such service providers with its own service.

Every implementation of such a service around the world seems to use different ways (REST, SOAP returns JSON, XML) to retrieve data from the underlying terminologies. This is enough for an user who uses only one service. But I have to query a lot of such services because they provide different terminologies I need.

This has nothing to do with hardware. I'm looking for a generalized standardized API for multiple terminologies in the medical/biomedical area like the https://digital.nhs.uk/services/terminology-servers example I gave above so I don't need to write a different interface for every source.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the clarification. It's possible this could be answered here, albeit it's not a run-of-the-mill question. I think the way it is generally approached (here) is to build the API for each database. I could be wrong. Python has an interface for everything BTW, just saying. $\endgroup$
    – M__
    Feb 3 at 21:03
  • $\begingroup$ No, the good/bad thing about standards is that there are many: xkcd.com/927. Even if there is now a standard imagine a service changing from SOAP to REST, should they wait till all the other change to REST too? $\endgroup$
    – llrs
    Feb 7 at 13:58


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