Laika (EHR testing framework)

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Written inRuby, Java, JavaScript
Operating systemCross-platform
LicenseApache 2.0

Laika is an open source Electronic Health Record (EHR) testing framework which analyzes and reports on the interchangeability of EHR systems. This includes the testing for certification of EHR software products and networks. Laika is designed to verify the input and output of EHR data against the standards and criteria identified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT).[1]

In June 2008, CCHIT began used Laika to automate EHR interchangeability testing,[2] but by December 2011, the organization had suspended its use of Laika.[3]

Interoperability packages[edit]

Laika C32
The first tool to be created in the Laika framework suite, and supports testing of the HL7/ASTM Continuity of Care Document (CCD) constrained by the HITSP C32 version 2.1 specification.[4][5]
Laika ORU
Released in September 2008 to test the interoperability of HL7 2.5.1 lab messages. Laika ORU can be used with Mirth, an open source health informatics messaging package, to manage the routing of HL7 2.5.1 lab messages with Laika.[6]
Laika XDS
Scheduled to be released in March 2009 to test EHR systems and Health Information Exchange systems with XDS registries and repositories.[7]

Development collaboration[edit]

Laika is an active collaborative effort between CCHIT and The MITRE Corporation. CCHIT is leading the functional requirements definition of the Laika testing framework. MITRE is leading the technical software design and is prototyping the software service.

The Certification Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to accelerate adoption of health information technology in the United States. MITRE is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation that manages three Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and works in partnership with the US government applying systems engineering and advanced technology to address issues of critical national importance in the USA.

Deployment in virtual environments[edit]

Laika has been deployed in virtual environments using, for example, the Amazon cloud environment. This allows centralized testing of multiple EHRs in segmented environments. It also allows portable implementations, so that field testing can be achieved.

Technical details[edit]

Laika is licensed under an Apache 2.0 open source license. Laika uses the Ruby on Rails framework, the Java programming language, the open source PostgreSQL database, and several Web 2.0 JavaScript libraries including Scriptaculous and Prototype.

Related software[edit]

In 2010, the core Laika software infrastructure, consisting of the Laika database and Rails controllers, was forked to support the open source popHealth project. The popHealth project was developed from resources provided by the Federal Health Architecture within the Office of the National Coordinator. popHealth integrates with a healthcare provider's electronic health record (EHR) system to produce summary quality measures on the provider's patient population. The MITRE Corporation was also tasked as the technical lead team for the popHealth activity.


Laika is named after the dog and first living animal to enter earth orbit, paving the way for human space flight.[8]


  1. ^ "What does laika mean". Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  2. ^ "Technology Transfer: LAIKA". The MITRE Corporation. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Project LAIKA". CCHIT: Certification Commission for Health Information Technology. Archived from the original on 27 December 2011.
  4. ^ Wikipedia Handbook of Biomedical Informatics. PediaPress.
  5. ^ "LAIKA Software Design Document - PDF". Retrieved 2017-09-20.
  6. ^ Wikipedia Handbook of Biomedical Informatics. PediaPress.
  7. ^ Wikipedia Handbook of Biomedical Informatics. PediaPress.
  8. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Laika. Retrieved 28 February 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]