New Global Collaboration between GS1 and IHTSDO

Agreement ensures the organizations’ health information standards are complementary


Brussels, Belgium and London, UK, 22 April, 2016- GS1 and the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO) announced today the signing of a new collaborative agreement that supports interoperability in health information systems globally. The agreement between GS1 and IHTSDO follows an initial memorandum of understanding the organizations signed in 2010.

GS1’s global trade item numbers (GTIN) are global standards for automatic product identification (through barcodes), used for patient safety and traceability. IHTSDO’s SNOMED CT is a global standard that ensures semantically accurate clinical terminology for consistent use across health systems and services. Ensuring that these two standards can work together will facilitate the link between clinical information in the patient record and the correct product administered to the patient at point of care, enabled by barcode scanning.

 “We are excited about building on our previous collaborative efforts with GS1 through this new work.” said IHTSDO CEO Don Sweete. “This new agreement focuses on concrete projects for linking GTINs and SNOMED CT further support those in the delivery of care to patients and start to demonstrate benefits as early as next year”.

There are four main areas of collaboration specified in the new global agreement, which runs until June 2017:

  1. Develop guidance/principles for linking SNOMED CT and GTINs that can be applied at the national/local level

  2. Explore options, feasibility and benefits for a technical solution/model at the international level to support local/national linkage between SNOMED CT and GTINs

  3. Conduct joint communications about IHTSDO and GS1 standards working together

  4. Explore options for education across healthcare communities based on feedback from subject matter experts, but likely focused on GS1 and IHTSDO products and services and collaborative activities


Miguel Lopera, GS1 CEO and President, commented “the use of GS1 global standards for product identification and data exchange is critical in addressing today’s issues in healthcare systems and will help ensure patient safety by appropriately linking patient information with accurate product information in all Electronic Health Records”.




For more information on GS1, IHTSDO and the collaboration please visit the organizations’ websites.

About GS1 Healthcare - GS1 Healthcare is a global, voluntary user community bringing together all Healthcare supply chain stakeholders, including manufacturers, distributors, Healthcare providers, solution providers, regulatory bodies and industry associations. The mission of GS1 Healthcare is to lead the Healthcare sector to the successful development and implementation of global standards by bringing together experts in Healthcare to enhance patient safety and supply chain efficiencies. GS1 Healthcare members include over 80 leading Healthcare organisations worldwide. For more information about GS1 Healthcare, please visit

About IHTSDO: The International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO) is owned and governed by 28 international members. We are a not-for-profit organization that works on behalf of the healthcare system and provides full support to our global members and licensees, ensuring that our combined resources achieve significant shared benefits that resonate around the world.


We own, administer and develop SNOMED CT, a commercial product that enables us to establish semantically accurate clinical terminologies for consistent use across all health systems, services, and products in the world.


We strive to improve the health of humankind and are constantly seeking to determine global standards for health terms. We believe that the global healthcare community must safely, accurately, and effectively exchange health information in order to help patients everywhere.


Media Contacts:


Alison Delle, Communications Manager




Anouk Chavel, Senior Manager Global Marketing, GS1

+32 2 788 78 00