The HIMSS17 Conference taking place in Orlando, FL, is clearly the turning point for open source in the healthcare informatio technology industry. Althought the label "open source" is barely mentioned in the program, the fact is the majority of the presentations at the conference are either based directly on open source technologies, or open health concepts. These include the large number of presentations on interoperability, FHIR, and the open/modular Medicaid IT revolution.
As they are winding their terms in office, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden dropped a stink bomb on the health IT industry. Speaking at different events on Friday, January 9th, the President and Vice President both criticized proprietary electronic health record (EHR) vendors as the primary obstacle to the success of their administration’s health care strategy. This is the highest level acknowledgement so far of the serious impact that “lock-in” EHR software vendors are having on America’s medical infrastructure and the ability of physicians to provide medical care.
As we reported in the December 15 issue of OpenMedicaidIT News, Andrew Slavitt, Acting Administrator of CMS, has openly discussed the opportunity offered by CMS' open Medicaid IT strategy in multiple blog posts and meetings. We have reported on this opportunity in an article titled CMS To Invest $5+ Billion a Year in Open Source and Cloud-based IT Infrastructure for Medicaid and recently started a newsletter provide our readers with news of the opportunities for tech companies as they emerge. We reprint here the article from the newsletter presenting that opportunity in Slavitt’s own words.
Major developments in open source health information technology are opening all kinds of opportunities for the members of the OSEHRA community. These developments include the open source strategy embraced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to modernize the state Medicaid IT infrastructure, the rapid adoption of open source APIs, including Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), and the emergence of blockchain technology and middleware solutions to fix the interoperability crisis.
After more than half-a-year of work Open Health News is launching OpenMedicaidIT News, a paid subscription newsletter that will cover the extraordinary developments taking place in federal and state health information technology. The information technology infrastructure for Medicaid, the nation's largest health insurance system, is in the process of a massive transformation towards an open, modular framework based on open source and open solutions, cloud-services, or modular Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) solutions. This new framework is designed to replace the existing monolithic platforms developed in the past 30 to 40 years with modern, agile technology solutions.
OSEHRA is holding a community call today and next Thursday, Sept. 29, with the open health community to discuss the response of the open source community to the recently release RFI by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for a "digital health platform." Notice with details from Seong K. Mun below..."According to the RFI (which is attached to this message), VHA "desires a Next Generation Digital Health Platform that is integrated, future-proof and optimizes the cost of operations. To achieve these goals, VA is considering establish an interoperable digital health platform that leads to Easier Access to Care for the Veteran, Better Outcomes for the Veteran and more efficient operations for the VHA"
The OSEHRA community today submitted a response to the "Draft Open Source Policy for Federal Agencies" released by the White House on March 10. The policy was open for comments through today. This is a major milestone for the OSEHRA community as well as the open source community as a whole. Currently the US Government spends nearly a hundred billion dollars a year on software purchased from the private sector or procured from government contractors. Most of this software acquisition ends up in failure. President Barack Obama has made it a priority to shift technology acquisition policies to solve this problem and restore technology innovation by embracing open source.
OSEHRA will be holding its annual Summit June 27 through June 29 in Bethesda, Maryland. Over the past several years the OSEHRA Summit has become the leading confernce for the VistA community as well as the Open HealthIT community. This year the conference will be expanding with a half-day focused on Open Health IT presentations. The 2016 OSEHRA Open Source Summit Program Committee invites abstract submissions for presentations, roundtables, and posters by March 8, 2016.
INASP has launched its Open Access Week Competition for 2015. The competition is open to representatives of institutions and organizations from INASP partner or network countries. Open Access Week, a global event now entering its seventh year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn more about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in Open Access developments. For more information, see OpenAccessWeek.org.
We have been very busy lately and did not have time this year to write a recap of major events related to our news web site. Well, a bit late, we start here with a review of our traffic figures. Traffic to the website continues to grow and we are now approaching 20,000 unique visitors per month. As the table shows below, the total number of unique visitors since we launched the site nearly four years ago has surpassed 375,000 and the total number of Page Views has broken the 8 million mark.
OSEHRA has been holding a "Code Alignment Workshop" in Oakland, CA that has brought together leading corporate members to work out how they can collaborate on a core verion of the open source VistA EHR...More details in the note below and in an online briefing on the meeting tomorrow at 08:30 AM Pacific Time. Read More »
Just got an email from Kris Prendergast, community organizer for the Open Source Electronic Health Record Alliance (OSEHRA) calling on the community to provide input to the open source strategy for the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Read More »
Just got an email from Jill Riley from HANDI Health calling for speakers and panelists for their upcoming conference on November 4th and 5th in Birmingham, UK. HANDI Health is a non-profit organization focused on the development of open source health IT solutions. They have had a series of very successful conferences and workshops and many senior members of UK's National Health System believe that HANDI has contributed more usable code than what they got from the $19.6 billion failure of their previous Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) effort. Read More »
For those of you who have not noticed yet, the folks at Opensource.com just completed the publication of an entire series of interviews with speakers at the upcoming O/Reilly OSCON conference. This conference is one of the most important and interesting open source conferences of the year and the wide variety of interviews conducted which show the depth and breadth of the conference topics. `
I received an email newsletter this morning from the Pistoia Alliance and it was so full of information and updates that I decided to post the entire newsletter as an article. A note on the Pistoia Alliance is long overdue. I had meant to write an article on the Alliance back in April after the 2014 Bio-IT World conference organizers announced that Pistoia's HELM project had been chosen as one of the Grand prize winners. Read More »
I heard today from Kris Prendergast, OSEHRA's open source community organizer. She gave me a heads up that OSEHRA has posted the full recording "Industry Day" that the US Deaprtment of Veterans Affairs (VA) conducted on June 18. As detailed in this press release, several of the key technical groups in the VA joined forces to host this day-long event.
Mona Alsaffar, a health informatics graduate student at University of California-Davis is conducting a study about developers involved in healthcare open source projects. She contacted Open Health News for help in informing the open health community about the project.
The deadline for OSEHRA Summit 2014 abstract submissions and Academic Abstract Competition is coming up on June 7th. The OSEHRA Summit has become the premier open health conference and it is a unique opportunity to present the latest advancements in open source health information technology.
Luis Ibáñez, one of the best known advocates of open source solutions in healthcare will be interviewed Thursday, May 1, by Fabian Lopez in the popular vxJourney weekly webinar. Ibáñez a contributing author to Open Health News as well as other publications, in particular Opensource.com, will talk about the VistA course that he has been teaching at the State University of New York at Albany. Read More »
The 6th International Conference e-Health 2014 is coming up in Lisbon, Portugal July 17th to 19th. There is still an opportunity for the open health community to present papers at the conference. Deadline for paper submission is May 5th.
Open Health News has continued growing in leaps and bounds and we are close to crossing a major milestone, 225,000 unique visitors to the site since we launched a little over three years ago. Not bad considering that when we launched the site, we thought the maximum number of people interested in a web site providing news related to open health would top off at 30,000 max!
Have you been paying attention to the topic of Exascale Computing? Perhaps you should. Congress recently provided funding to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a new class of supercomputers capable of a quintillion [billion billion] FLoating Point Operations per Second (FLOPS) needed to model nuclear weapons explosions Read More »
Note that, even in 1986, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs was savvy to, and advocating the use of metadata (then called the “data dictionary – a roadmap to the database.” It understood its use in VistA (then called DHCP), its role in portability (then with the Indian Health Service), and hopes to use it for the Department of Defense’s Composite Health Care System. Read More »
I am writing from the floor of the HIMSS14 conference in Orlando, Florida. This has been so far an incredibly exciting conference as the core principles of open source in healthcare that I have been working on for more than a decade are now becoming mainstream. Read More »