A schema.org blog announcement was posted today by Aaron Brown (Google) and C. Michael Gibson, MD (Wikidoc), announcing "a major set of additions to schema.org that improve our coverage of health and medical topics." Dan Brickley of schema.org said, "Schema.org gains about 100 classes and 200 properties here, so this is a major addition."
The announcement points out how this effort is different from existing HCLS vocabulary work as well as previous schema.org work. "Although there are many existing efforts around structured data for health and medicine, such structure is today typically available only 'behind the scenes' rather than shared in the Web using standard markup. Our design goals therefore differed from many previous initiatives, in that we focused on markup for use by Webmasters and publishers. Our main goal was to create markup that will help patients, physicians, and generally health-interested consumers find relevant health information via search."
Another significant aspect of the Health and Medical Vocabulary work is the high-profile partners involved. Feedback was provided by the "US NCBI; physicians at Harvard, Duke and other institutions, as well as from several health Web sites. Contributions from the W3C Healthcare and Lifesciences group and Web Schemas community also helped bridge the complex worlds of Web standards, search and medicine/healthcare."