Latest Blog Posts

Open Health Community 'Code of Conduct'

Many industries and/or organizations have chosen to establish professional ‘Codes of Ethics’ or ‘Codes of Conduct’. These codes serve several purposes:

·      to provide ethical guidance for the professionals themselves,
·      to furnish a set of principles and standards as a guide against which the conduct of the professionals may be measured, and
·      to provide the public with a clear statement of the ethical considerations that should shape the behavior of the professionals themselves. Read More »

Top Contenders for next year's 'Open' HITS List

A few weeks a go, we published our current list of top 'open' health IT solutions – the HITS List for 2011.  It contained our top picks from amongst the many high quality open source health IT solutions now available. Several other open source or public domain solutions were also possible top contenders, but didn't make the list. I'm sure that by the time we publish our top picks early next year, several of the systems on this year's list will find themselves knocked from their top spots on the HITS List for 2012. Read More »

Environmental Exposure & EHR Systems

Introduction

There is growing evidence among scientists and the public about possible health risks associated with exposure to occupational or environmental hazards. There may be short term or long term consequences to people who have been exposed to radiation, chemicals, asbestos, pollution, electro-magnetic transmissions, and hazardous waste.  We need to better understand the impact of environmental exposure on children and adults with regards to autism, asthma, cancers, diabetes, obesity, and so many other conditions and diseases. The time has come to more systematically capture data on exposure to occupational and environmental hazards in electronic health record (EHR) and personal health record (PHR) systems. Read More »

Wisconsin reps trying to torpedo VA's open source strategy

For those of you folks who think that open health is a staid field, this week saw the unfolding of an epic scandal. NexGov's inimitable reporter, Bob Brewin, author of the column What's Brewin, got his hands on a stash of documents showing that elected representatives from Wisconsin are trying to torpedo the open source strategy being pursued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Kudos to VA's CIO, Roger Baker, for standing up for what's right.

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'Open' Revolution

I believe we have moved into a century of massive, global collaboration, innovation, and 'open' solutions. There is a revolution taking place in the high tech industry as we continue to move to open source solutions. In education and publishing we are moving to open copyright, open access, open knowledge, and open journals. We're seeing collaborative and 'open' news organizations, religious, and political movements. 'Open' health IT solutions and communities are proliferating. I think its very real, this period of 'open' revolution' on all fronts. I just haven't got a truly clear handle on what it really looks like, how it operates, and what its impact will be on us, our country, and our way of life.  But something big is afoot -  this is not just the Information Age, we've entered an Age of Open Revolution!

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Regenerative Medicine & Health IT Systems

Introduction

Over the past decade I've written numerous articles about many of the health information technologies (IT) and systems needed to support traditional medicine and preventative medicine practices, e.g. EHR, PHR, and HIE systems. With the emergence of the relatively new field of regenerative medicine, what type of health IT systems are going to be needed?

The growing field of regenerative medicine already encompasses so many fields from stem cell research, genetics, tissue engineering, bioengineering, organic human nanostructures, limb reconstruction, transplantation, and life extension research. This doesn't include the supporting fields of computer science, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, robotics, 3D imaging, and more. Regenerative medicine requires extensive collaboration between scientists working in all these various areas.

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Latest Effort to Derail the Open Source Approach to Modernizing the VA VistA System

On March 22, 2011, an article in the Nextgov news site reported that five members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation asked the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to consider using a single commercial system for their new electronic health records, a move that could benefit one of their state's largest employers, software company Epic Systems Corp. The VA quickly responded and said it plans to stick with the open source approach it has pursued so successfully in partnership with other public and private sector organizations over the past few decades.

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Next Generation "Social Health" Information Systems

"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 »

Hawaii and Open Health IT Solutions

Over the years, Hawaii has given rise to a number of individuals and organizations that have played a key role in collaboratively developing and implementing innovative ‘open’ health IT initiatives. I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge them. Read More »

Public Health Information & Technology

The following is a list of web sites of just a few of the many collaborative, 'open' public health IT projects, software products, services, or health information sources worth checking out. They are all available in the 'public domain' or as 'open source' solutions. Read More »

Understanding 'Open' Terminology

Having heard so many people using the terms "open systems", "open computing", and "open source" interchangeably, believing they all mean the same thing, it seemed appropriate to  write a short blog defining some of these terms and soliciting input on other 'open' terminology. Read More »

Up and Running

Open Health News is coming soon! Preliminary testing is over and the site will be up and running in production by March 1, 2011. The site will then evolve rapidly as we add new content and capabilities over the coming months. Stay tuned!

Alternative 'Green' Energy Solutions for Health IT Systems

Your health care organization's vision for the future should include having more and more of your health information technology (HIT) infrastructure powered by alternative "hybrid" energy systems that tap into solar, wind, hydro, and traditional el

Simulation Technology and 'Open' EHR Systems for Medical Education & Training

Introduction

Models of human patients have been used in medicine for thousands of years. Some of the first medical 'simulators' were simple representations in clay and stone that were used to demonstrate clinical features of disease states and their effects on humans. Today, ever more sophisticated medical simulation tools and techniques have been developed and integrated into the education and training programs for medical professionals. There are now approximately 300 medical simulation centers in the U.S. Most are affiliated with medical schools, nursing schools, and major teaching hospitals.

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Collaborative, 'Open' Education Solutions in Health Care

The use of 'open source' software to deliver global health education solutions used by universities, medical schools, and a range of other health care organizations is becoming an increasingly important trend to watch.

Wearable Health IT Systems

The 1980's were dominated by the use of personal computers (PC). The 1990's saw the widespread acquisition and use of laptop computers. This decade has seen the widespread acceptance and use of mobile personal digital assistants (PDA) or smartphones, e.g. iPod, Blackberry, etc.

Social Networking & Health Care Systems

Social networking has created new ways to communicate and share information and have become a part of everyday life for many people. Social networks are now beginning to be adopted by healthcare organizations as a means to better manage institutional knowledge, disseminate peer to peer knowledge, and to reach out and better serve their patients. Read More »

'Open Source' Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) Systems

Integrative medicine, as defined by National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), combines mainstream medical therapies and Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness. NCCAM reported that out-of-pocket costs for CAM by adults in the U.S. in 2009 exceeded $33 billion.

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Mobile Health Solutions - mHealth

There are already over 4 billion mobile devices in use around the world — 64 percent of them are in the hands of people living in emerging market economies — and the numbers are only growing. 
In the coming decade, mHealth will dramatically change the daily clinical practices of many health care providers and the lives of their patients.

Open Source Dental Systems

The dental software industry has grown considerably over the past several decades. There are currently well over 40 commercial vendors that provide dental practice management, electronic dental record systems, and dental imaging systems for dental offices.

Health eGames

The worldwide video gaming industry is a thriving business – with hardware and software sales reaching $43.5 billion in 2007 and projected to grow to more than $61 billion in the next 4 years, according to eFuturist, Doug Goldstein - See http://www.iconecto.com

Health IT Systems in 2040

It is generally understood that the key health information technologies (HIT) to be deployed over the next decade include Electronic Health Record (EHR), Personal Health Record (PHR), and Health Information Exchange (HIE) systems. While achieving those objectives by 2020 will lay the foundation for dramatically improving healthcare, radical transformation of health care will start to come about in the decades to follow. The following are some of the emerging health information technologies that I predict will be deployed and widely used by 2040.

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FOSS in the 21st Century

The use of Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) solutions by health care providers and organizations is an increasingly important trend today. The number of FOSS solutions currently available has grown to be quite substantial. The number of new FOSS health care solutions under development is equally impressive.

COSI Health IT Blog Startup

Industries and businesses throughout the world are being revolutionized through the application of three unique and powerful strategies - Collaboration, Open Solutions, and Innovation (COSI). When combined, these management strategies create a robust model for accelerating change, reducing medical errors, and improving quality in the U.S. healthcare system. The COSI strategies are absolutely essential for transforming health care and creating the technology necessary to support better, safer and higher quality care in the U.S. and around the world.