HealthTerm is the result of more than 15 years of development within terminology servers. HealthTerm set out as a project in the Danish National Board of Health. In connection with their work on new standards, the Board of Health noted that the present code system for diagnoses and procedures – SKS (based on WHO’s ICD-10) was unsuitable for clinical documentation. SKS had been developed for statistical purposes, and were therefore not prepped for any clinical documentation. Hence, the National Board of Health decided to try the American SNOMED CT terminology with its approx. 350,000 concepts, 1 million terms and 1.5 million defined relations between the concepts. As the terminology was delivered in text files, it was necessary for the Board of Health to have a browser developed to gain an overview of the terminology. Subsequently the Board of Health started a pilot translation to Danish of approx. 40,000 concepts via a translation agency in combination with a quality review by the Board. The concepts were selected and distributed in Excel spreadsheets. However, the lack of central document management processes and concept governance left the project with fragmented concept versions with insufficient quality as well as major resource consumption in the process.

The Board of Health asked CareCom to develop an application for the handling of the translation process focussing on overview, accessibility and history. In other words, an application were to be developed, which was workflow based, 100% web based and which logged all changes made. The result was HealthTerm.