Orthodontic Software Interoperability

Unleashing the potential of orthodontic software

Presentation Goals

  • Raise awareness in topic of Interoperability
  • Become part of AAO's Strategic Plan

Problem 1

Intra-office Connections

Problem 2

Inter-office Connections

Problem 3


  • Today's research is embarrassingly based on a tiny fraction of our population (< 100 patients)
  • We have the technology in place to bump up sample size by 2-3 orders of magnitude.

Problem 4

Data Conversion

  • A lot of time and resources spend for data conversion (import and export)
  • Data conversion is a tedious repetitive process: developers keep reverse engineering and don't share their work.

Problem 5

Data to Patient

  • Awareness of data ownership is growing and governments are adding regulations (21st Century Cures Act, Information Blocking)
  • Providers don't know how to give patients their data.

How can we solve the problem?

We make use of standards.

Humans and Standards

Humans have a history of making significant progress by adopting standards.


Measuring things (SI Units)

Tire Codes (ISO-83.160.10)

Containers, Rail Track Gauge

RCA Sound Tape Cartridge, Elcaset, Compact Cassette

Wall Socket (NEMA 1-15, NEMA 5-15)

Screws (ASME-B1, ISO-68,261,262,724,725

TCP/IP Networking (the Internet), Email, SMS

No Standards: Nintendo, Xbox, Playstation, ...

Tesla Open Source Patents


Strategic Plan of the Past

Attempts have been made in the past, but they failed. Why?

  • We have used closed interoperability
  • Fear of losing customers
  • It's work to follow standards
  • No request from customers
  • Lack of Information

Master Plan

How would the future look like?

How can the AAO get involved

  • Regularly publish articles to educate domain on Interoperability.
  • Require applicants for AAO/AAOF funding to include interoperability and data sharing as part of the proposal.

Interoperability Guidelines

  1. A developer should always make use of existing standards
  2. If there are no standards, a developer is expected to invent their own standard.
  3. When a new standard is invented, it shall be made public, and eventually adopted by and SDO.

The "FAIR" Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship

FINDABILITY: (meta)data are assigned a globally unique and persistent identifier; data are described with rich metadata; metadata clearly and explicitly include the identifier of the data it describes; (meta)data are registered or indexed in a searchable resource

ACCESSIBILITY: (meta)data are retrievable by their identifier using a standardized communications protocol; this protocol is open, free, and universally implementable, and allows for an authentication and authorization procedure, where necessary; metadata are accessible, even when the data are no longer available

INTEROPERABILITY: (meta)data use a formal, accessible, shared, and broadly applicable language for knowledge representation; they use vocabularies that follow FAIR principles; they include qualified references to other (meta)data

REUSABILITY: (meta)data are richly described with a plurality of accurate and relevant attributes; they are released with a clear and accessible data usage license; they are associated with detailed provenance; they meet domain-relevant community standards

Ask you software's support these questions

Find out if you really have control over your data.

  • The day I decide to move to a different software product, what will the process to export my data and import it into the new software be?
  • I would like to use Software B to send out my email reminders. Can you please ensure the two software products can share data both ways?