VISTA Expo 2011: Organizers Issue Call for Papers

The much anticipated VISTAExpo & Symposium 2011 conference has just issued a call for papers as well as trainers for their educational tracks and tutorial sessions. VISTAExpo is a four-day conference for activists and members of the VistA ecosystem, current users as well as potential adopters. It will be held from November 17-20 in Redmond, Washington. Papers and presentations are due by September 15. The conference organizers are looking for presenters on topics related to one of their four tracks as well as experienced VistA trainers to give tutorials for a large number of VistA “newbies” and potential users who are expected to attend. VISTAExpo is being organized primarily by the VISTA Expertise Network.

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Ohio LinuxFest 2011 Features Medical Track

Ohio LinuxFest, one of the largest and best attended Linux and Open Source conferences in the U.S., will feature a Medical Track for the first time this year. The track will present a whole range of major developments in the open health community. Ohio LinuxFest (OLF) is an annual grassroots conference for the  Open Source community. Organized and run by volunteers, it will be held this year from September 9-11 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. The conference includes an expo area for companies and open source software organizations to set up booths.

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OpenEMR 4.1 Achieves Full 'Meaningful Use' Certification

After more than a year of upgrades and enhancements and months of testing at the ICSA Labs EHR Certification Program, OpenEMR version 4.1 received full 'meaningful use' certification for ambulatory care settings on Friday, August 19. This means that the widely-used open source Electronic Medical Records (EMR) is now certified to meet all ambulatory care requirements. OpenEMR had previously received only more limited modular certification. OpenEMR is not just a fully featured open source EMR; it also comes with multiple other open source components and enhancements including integrated practice management, electronic billing, prescription writing, document management, and a patient portal. With well over 3,000 downloads a month, OpenEMR is one of the most popular open source EMR solutions.

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Health IT Systems & 'Open' Cloud Computing

Over the next decade, many health IT systems are going to take advantage of 'Cloud Computing' technology.  Just as many of health IT systems are now incorporating open source software into their architecture, 'open' cloud computing solutions will also begin to be adopted by many public and private sector organizations. This will be especially true of those health care organizations pursuing and/or implementing application service provider (ASP) type solutions. Read More »

Health eGames & Mobile Health Apps: The New Consumer Interface

We are seeing the emergence of Health eGames and Mobile Health Apps as part of the innovative fifth generation of multi-media computer interfaces for consumers that can be used to obtain information and interact with Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Personal Health Record (PHR) systems. Examples of the many multi-media eGames for health that are emerging can be found at Gaming4Health. In turn, a list of some of the many new, easy- to-use mobile Health Apps designed for smartphones and other mobile devices can be found on the COSI Open Health web site. Read More »

"Social Health" Is Not About Socialized Medicine

"Social networking" websites like Facebook are now being used regularly by hundreds of millions of people around the world to connect with each other. "Social commerce" web sites like Groupon have now emerged connecting consumers with local stores and national supply chains. What's next?  Look for next generation "social health" information web sites. Read More »

NCI Asks for Help with Open Source Development Model

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has released a formal RFI (Request for Information) asking for help in the drafting of an open source development model for the software NCI has developed under their Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) project. Although the request is very similar to the VA's "Custodial Agent" effort, it is significantly different in that the caBIG initiative has been in operation since 2003 and more than 70 open source tools have been already developed and enhanced through the program.

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Redwood MedNet Hosts HIE Conference

Redwood MedNet, one of the pioneers in open source Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) is hosting their annual conference in Santa Rosa, California July 14 and 15. This is the fifth annual conference hosted by the non-profit organization. Redwood MedNet was established in 2005 by health care providers at hospitals, private practices, community clinics and public health in Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma Counties, California.

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Pfizer Launches Collaborative Virtual Clinical Trial

Pfizer is borrowing a page from open source collaborative projects and has launched an innovative approach to clinical trials as reported in the Wall Street Journal. Pfizer has adopted a series of tools and technologies that have enabled it to start an all-electronic, home-based clinical trial. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given approval to the remotely monitored trial, the first one ever. Pfizer recruited the participants through ads in the Internet and is monitoring the trial using smartphone and computer-based telemedicine tools.

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Open Source Helps Spokane Data Exchange Pilot Go Live In Record Time

The use of open source software made it possible to deploy the fourth data exchange pilot between the Department of  Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and private sector medical facilities in record time. The Spokane Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) went live less than eight weeks after the start of the project. The VLER is intended to provide seamless access to the medical record of veterans and military personnel irregardless of where they receive medical treatment. Read More »