If you just jumped in here, you might want to read Why first.
We have defined the problems here. But what can we do? Problems like these have existed in the past of humanity, and we have been conventionally able to overcome them agreeing on a common language, a standard. This has proven extremely successful for example in the case for measurement units (SI units), shipping containers, rail track gauges, tire sizes and codes, electrical sockets and plugs, screws, networking (TCP/IP), email, SMS, …
We believe informatics standards like DICOM, HL7 and SNOMED/SNODENT to be an effective solution to orthodontic software isolation. Permanent changes can happen in a community when the vast majority of the community members are on board and willing to make the change.
If we had an open-standard and if we all made use of it, we could successfully address the problems, achieve open-standard based interoperability and transition to the next level of orthodontic technology. Easier said than done. Standards exist, and have existed for decades. Why aren’t they being used? If all software would implement the standards, we would be set.
There are hurdles. Software developers are resilient to implementing standards for importing and exporting clinical data in and out of their product. Understandably:
These hurdles need to be overcome before the solution can be applied. We need to change the way an entire community operates. But How?