Obituary for Ragnar Nordberg by Bernd Blobel

I met Ragnar first in the context of several EU Projects on security and privacy I was able to join in the nineties after the German reunification. He supported and mentored so much on my first steps in this endeavor. Another field I benefitted from Ragnar’s deep knowledge and rich experiences was EFMI as organization in general and the Security Working Group in special.

An important outcome was generated when he opened the doors towards my engagement at CEN and ISO within several standardization efforts. We jointly developed standards and related conference papers. A special work to be mentioned here is the specification of one of the most influential standards in health informatics security and privacy: ISO 22600 Health informatics – Privilege management and access control. Ragnar was the Project Lead in this standardization work before he stepped back and I took this role in the further revision and advancement of the standard. ISO 22600 is not just the basis of many other security and privacy standards developed at ISO/TC 215 Ragnar and I have been engaged in. It is also the basis for the security and privacy specifications developed by other SDOs such as HL7 International. The provided policy ontology is the foundation for formally representing policies, that way introducing ontologies for concept representations beyond the field of documentation and terminologies almost 20 years ago.

Beyond his aforementioned scientific and practical expertise, Ragnar was an extraordinary personality and a reliable friend. Ragnar and his wife Anita met my wife and me on many formal as well as private occasions. I will never forget the multiple dinner meetings we enjoyed in his house.

We have been continuously and tightly connected over so many years. In his response to our 2020 birthday greetings, he emphasized: “It is incredible that at the age of 84 I feel so healthy and fit.” With this statement, it is incredibly hard for me to accept the sad and unexpected news of Ragnar’s passing. It is a big loss! I will miss him so much as a good friend and wise colleague. I will always commemorate him deep in my heart. Please express my sincere sympathy to Anita and the entire family and the Members of the Swedish Medical Informatics Association.

Bernd Blobel