Using OPC and HL7 Standards to Incorporate an Industrial Big Data Historian in a Health IT Environment

J Med Syst. 2018 May 30;42(7):122. doi: 10.1007/s10916-018-0979-5.


Health Level Seven (HL7) is one of the standards most used to centralize data from different vital sign monitoring systems. This solution significantly limits the data available for historical analysis, because it typically uses databases that are not effective in storing large volumes of data. In industry, a specific Big Data Historian, known as a Process Information Management System (PIMS), solves this problem. This work proposes the same solution to overcome the restriction on storing vital sign data. The PIMS needs a compatible communication standard to allow storing, and the one most commonly used is the OLE for Process Control (OPC). This paper presents a HL7-OPC Server that permits communication between vital sign monitoring systems with PIMS, thus allowing the storage of long historical series of vital signs. In addition, it carries out a review about local and cloud-based Big Medical Data researches, followed by an analysis of the PIMS in a Health IT Environment. Then it shows the architecture of HL7 and OPC Standards. Finally, it shows the HL7-OPC Server and a sequence of tests that proved its full operation and performance.

Keywords: Big data historian; HL7; OLE for process control; PIMS; Vital signs.

MeSH terms

  • Data Accuracy*
  • Health Level Seven*
  • Humans
  • Software*