When Standardized Data Can Help Save Lives
By Britta Voss, an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the Public Safety Communications Research division at NIST
When you email a friend, you don’t have to worry about whether they use Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo or some other email provider. You just enter their email address, write your message and hit send. The reason this works is because there are layers of standardized protocols that all the email clients have adopted so emails can seamlessly fly between users regardless of which client they choose.
Many other types of digital information exchange are not interoperable like email. Instead, if you want to share some data with another user, you often have to use the same software. I encountered this challenge both through my research as a science policy fellow with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division and my personal experience as a user of diabetes management technologies.