The Standard

The Official Blog of Health Level Seven® International


HL7 FHIR Accelerator for Translational and Clinical Research; Vulcan Launches

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 7, 2021 9:35:50 AM / by Amy Cramer, MMCi, RN, CPHQ

Vulcan Logo Full

Clinical care data is a foundation for research. It is used to understand patient populations and as the core for clinical data capture. The introduction of HL7 Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) and its adoption rate creates a new opportunity to exchange data for clinical and translational research. Building off the work already accomplished to create interoperability standards for the exchange of healthcare data bridges clinical research into the greater healthcare ecosystem.

HL7 FHIR® accelerators have been a successful catalyst for standards development and adoption. Following the path of other accelerators, the research community collaborated to create Vulcan. In August 2020, Vulcan was launched by convening the following member organizations: TransCelerate Biopharma, Duke University, Johns Hopkins, Oregon Health and Sciences University, UT Health San Antonio, Society for Clinical Data Management, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), Danish Medicines Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Membership is rapidly growing with new organizations being onboarded each month.

Vulcan Use Cases

After consultation with the Steering and Operations Committee of Vulcan, project teams have been formed to move forward three use cases. These were selected from a larger effort to collect as many as eighteen uses cases which were prioritized based on impact and the ability to deliver to the community. The initial selected use cases include:

  • Real world data (including secondary use of electronic health record data)
  • Phenopackets
  • Schedule of activities

These use cases are current projects that will be part of HL7’s January FHIR Connectathon. Vulcan member companies are encouraged to bring forth additional use cases that will be prioritized by a vote from each member organization in Vulcan’s Operations Committee. Additional use cases under current consideration include data analytics, IDMP, ICSR and artificial intelligence.

Vulcan’s goal is to create an ecosystem where research stakeholders collaborate on common use cases with the purpose of simplifying the research communities exchange of data through the use of common standards with health records. Vulcan consists of organizations who represent the entire research stakeholder community including vendors, sponsors, CROs, consulting companies, sites, patient organizations, government agencies and growing.

Join Vulcan

To join Vulcan, please download the Statement of Understanding on the Vulcan website and email the Vulcan PMO (

Topics: FHIR, interoperability, health IT, clinical research, FHIR Accelerator, Vulcan

Amy Cramer, MMCi, RN, CPHQ

Written by Amy Cramer, MMCi, RN, CPHQ

Amy (Nordo) Cramer, MMCi, RN, CPHQ, is the co-chair of the Vulcan Steering Committee and serves in global product strategic partnerships at Pfizer.

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

see all