Medical terminologies play a vital role in health care as in clinical research. Their main purpose is to support semantic interoperability - giving a concept an universally understood meaning by annotating it with a code from a controlled vocabulary. The idea is not only to have a complete, well-defined set of concepts, but also to have an idea whether a data element from a different data source is equivalent to an already existing data element, so that one can combine the two data elements into one and modify facts referencing the concepts accordingly (schema and data mapping). The result is easier to query and easier to maintain in the long term.
Being an US development, i2b2 has some terminologies included that are used in the United States (ICD-9, RxNorm). Since the IDRT projects focuses on Germany, support for a number of medical classification systems has been added.
Using Terminologies with the IMT