Latest Blog Posts

Genomic Information, EHR Systems, & Open Source

Next generation electronic medical record (EMR) will contain genomic information modules and provide predictive care capabilities supporting the continued movement towards more personalized medicine. Much of the work on genomic information systems being done involves extensive collaboration between public and private sector organizations with a heavy emphasis on standards and 'open source' solutions.

Read More »

Nutrition & Diet: Free Open Source and/or Low Cost Solutions

Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet and good nutrition. For help, consider using some of the growing number of high quality, free open source and/or low cost  Diet & Nutrition software products now readily available to you. Read More »

Grid Computing & 'Open' Health Grids

Grid computing provides the ability to perform higher throughput computing by taking advantage of many networked computers to form the equivalent of a virtual 'super computer'. Grid computing utilizes the unused capacity of many separate computers connected by a network to solve large-scale computational problems. With grid computing, organizations can collaborate and pool both internal and trusted external computer resources to tackle projects that require an extremely large capacity of computing power.

Read More »

Self Service Healthcare is Thriving

...In other words, self care is thriving. Using a PC, laptop, or smartphone patients can now access a host of healthcare information and services online from anywhere they might be. Using any one of these devices, they have ready access to online health information about symptoms, drugs, treatment options, healthcare facilities, and much more. In addition to PHR systems, mobile apps tailored to your particular health situation or wellness objectives abound. Free open source software tools exist to help predict longevity, assess susceptibility to strokes or heart attack. In addition to health educational materials, there are now health egames that make learning more enjoyable for patients of all ages. Prescription refills can be done online and the medication will be delivered to your home. New self care, self education, self examination, and self treatment are emerging in ever greater frequency...

Read More »

Risk Management & Open EHR Solutions

As reported in a recent article in the online Fierce Health IT magazine, "Financial issues for a software company could result in medical procedures going unscheduled and needy patients going without beds at a hospital across the pond, providing a cautionary tale for U.S. hospitals about the importance of vendor selection." There are some real risks to be considered when choosing an electronic health record (EHR) system for your organization. Read More »

Overview of Nursing Informatics & 'Open' Health IT Solutions

Introduction

According to Dr. Susan Hamer, the Director of Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health professionals at NHS, implementing new health information technology (IT) systems often has a huge impact on clinical practices and in the past managers had underestimated the effort and expense needed to support nurses through this change. "While there is a small group of nurses that is taking on the informatics challenge, there are too few of them at the moment," she said. "Nurses need to take a better grip of the health informatics agenda, both to secure the technologies that the profession needs to improve operations  while also enhancing quality of care." Read More »

Next Generation Health IT Systems

The key health information technologies (IT) to be deployed by the health care provider organizations in the U.S. over the next decade include standards-based Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems interconnected via Health Information Exchange (HIE) networks. Medical imaging will be key component of these systems. In addition, Personal Health Record (PHR) systems, mobile health apps (mHealth), and social health networks will be widely used by the end of the decade.

Then where do we go? What new health IT solutions will we see rolling out in the 2020-2040 timeframe. We ought to be talking more about this. The following are some of the emerging health IT solutions that I predict will be widely deployed over the next several decades. Read More »

EHR Certification Process

Here's a short blog I just felt compelled to write.  According to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONCHIT) web site, there are 1,049 EHR Products Now Certified.  You can see this news item on the ONCHIT home page - http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt/ Read More »

A Case of Murder by EHR

Back in 2007, after Hurricane Katrina, I co-authored a story entitled "Murder by EHR" to showcase the benefits of having electronic health records (EHR), especially in major disaster situations. With the arrival of Hurricane Irene, I decided to reprint the story here for your entertainment and information. It's a bit longer than my normal blogs. Read More »

Keeping an Eye on Biocomputers Based on DNA Computing Technology

I've been keeping an eye on DNA computing, or biocomputers, for quite some time now. These are the computer systems of the future - a form of computing which use DNA, biochemistry and molecular biology, instead of the traditional silicon-based computer technologies.

Read More »

Homeland Security & VistA 'Open' EHR Opportunity

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to purchase a commercial electronic health record (EHR) system to support medical care and public health services for detainees of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The system will be deployed at 22 locations across the country. Read More »

Open Source Supports Open Pharma

From my recent reading of the articles listed below, it appears open pharma is gaining momentum in the industry. I know this is only scratching the surface of all the amazing projects taking place globally. Read More »

Open Health News (OHN) Searches by Country & State

As more and more articles, news clips, resources, etc. on open source and health IT are entered into the Open Health News (OHN) system, the Search feature becomes a very effective tool to use. For example, I wanted to see information and news on open source and health IT activities in Africa, Asia, South America, and in selected U.S. states, e.g. Read More »

Open Health IT Communities

There are thousands of open source health IT development projects, software products, and organizations around the world.  Over the past few years the major initiatives have started to coalesce into communities. The following is a list of some of these 'open health' communities along with links to community resources (organizations, software, projects) and news related to the communities. Read More »

Open Source Embedded Technology & Health IT Systems

Embedded computer systems are usually designed to do a few specific functions, often with real-time computing constraints.  They are being installed within an increasingly wide range of complex systems or devices, e.g. Read More »

'Open' Cloud Computing & Health IT Systems

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 begin to be adopted. Read More »

Implantable eCare Systems

Low cost and high-performance implantable health care solutions based on emerging nanotechnologies will dramatically change the daily clinical practices of many health care providers and the lives of the patients they treat. Read More »

Robots, Health Care & Open Source

The 1980's saw the emergence of some of the first uses of robots in a health care setting. These were primarily restricted to robotic carts used to move mail, medical records, prescriptions, and laboratory specimens around a medical center. There was also an increasing commitment to research and development (R&D) of stationary robotic devices used for specialized purposes, e.g. packaging drugs. Read More »

Why Should Consumers Care About 'Open Health' Software Solutions

Health care provider organizations and computer specialists have begun to understand the benefits of using 'open' health IT solutions. However, most consumers still have no clue why this should be of any concern to them. Here are some key points that need to be communicated to health care consumers: Read More »

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.

Read More »

'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!

Read More »

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.

Read More »