Feature Articles

Top 10 eClinical Trends

The drug development industry is facing a revolution in the way clinical trials are being planned and conducted. It’s an industry that experiences rapid changes in technology adoption and business models, from new ways of capturing clinical data to new outsourcing strategies. This paper focuses on ten essential eClinical trends in order to help you understand which direction the biotech industry is prone to take in the next few years. As both the means, and the ultimate motivation of clinical development, patients are the most fundamental assets during the clinical trial process. We have summed up five trends that are destined to give them a more important role in the conduct of clinical studies: Boosting Patient Engagement, Integrated ePRO (electronic Patient Reported Outcomes) Systems, Mobile Clinical Studies, Personalized medicine, and Risk-based monitoring. Read More »

Can Data Provide the Trust we Need in Health Care?

One of the problems dragging down the US health care system is that nobody trusts one another. Most of us, as individuals, place faith in our personal health care providers, which may or may not be warranted. But on a larger scale we’re all suspicious of each other... Read More »

Pursuing Adoption of Free and Open Source Software in Governments

Free and open source software creates a natural — and even necessary — fit with government. I joined a panel this past weekend at the Free Software Foundation conference LibrePlanet on this topic and have covered it previously in a journal article and talk. Our panel focused on barriers to its adoption and steps that free software advocates could take to reach out to government agencies. Read More »

Makers are the new industrial revolution

Following up on the recent review of the Maker's Manifesto, I ran across the book Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson. Anderson is a former Editor in Chief of Wired and no stranger to the economic paradoxes of peer-production and open source. He has written about both in previous books The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More and Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Read More »

Open Data Can Drive Partnerships With Government

As governments and businesses — and increasingly, all of us who are Internet-connected — release data out in the open, we come closer to resolving the tiresomely famous and perplexing quote from Stewart Brand: “Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive.” Open data brings home to us how much free information is available and how productive it is in its free state, but one subterranean thread I found in Joel Gurin’s book Open Data Now highlights an important point: information is very expensive. Read More »

The Evolving Role of Open Source Software in Medicine and Health Services

In this article, we highlight the barriers to progress and discuss the dangers of pursuing a standardization framework devoid of empirical testing and iterative development. We give the example of the openEHR Foundation, which was established at University College London (UCL) in London, England, with members in 80 countries....We argue that such an approach is now essential to support good discipline, innovation, and governance at the heart of medicine and health services, in line with the new mandate for health commissioning in the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), which emphasizes patient participation, innovation, transparency, and accountability. Read More »

Who helps your Linux distribution run smoothly? Thank a packager today

The people behind the scenes who work tirelessly to make your Linux distribution run smoothly are the packagers. The vast majority of Linux packagers are volunteers who dedicate their evenings and weekends to create and maintain the gears of the Linux distributions they love. Read More »

Disrupting Healthcare IT - The Easy Way to Develop a Beautiful and Usable EHR User Interface

Despite the best endeavors of the “mainstream” IT community, it’s an interesting fact that the top-end of the EHR marketplace is dominated by systems that use an otherwise little-known and poorly-understood database technology: Mumps.  Not only does this represent something of a closed book to the outside development community – they universally balk at the idea of having to use this technology’s native language, but also the companies that have developed and own these EHRs keep their technology tightly under their own control. Read More »

North Carolina's Central Regional Hospital Rolls Out VistA For Less Than $1 Million

Central Regional Hospital, a state psychiatric and medical facility located in Butner, North Carolina, has just completed a full-scale implementation of the open source VistA electronic health record (EHR) system. The hospital, after three years of work, was able to self-implement and customize the fully-featured EHR at a cost of less than $1 million. Read More »

VistA: From Start To Go In 5 Minutes

[The] original two to three day process of trying to take home VistA EMR from yester year is now something that can be completed in the time it takes for you to walk to the nearby coffee shop for a refill and return to your office. Thanks to the extraordinary engineering work of Chris Edwards (a developer for KRM Associates and Certification Manager at OSEHRA), all of the "tough decisions" are made for you. Read More »

VistA: The Open Source EHR Hackable Platform

[A]s a result of the work of Christopher Edwards, developing the OSEHRA Installer for VistA, which includes the suite of EWD.js products and a raft of demonstration applications, we now have exactly what Tony was suggesting: VistA, the Open Source EHR Hackable Platform. Read More »

EWD.js and VistA: Now With No Barriers to Entry

Over the past few weeks I’ve been busy.  Before explaining what I’ve been busy doing, I’ll start by stating my sincere thanks to Christopher Edwards (KRM Associates and Certification Manager at OSEHRA) for enhancing and extending his installer for VistA to include an option to automatically install, configure and fire up EWD.js. Read More »

A Review Of The Printrbot 3D Printer

If you're looking around for 3D printers that are both inexpensive and open source friendly, the Printrbot Simple Kit will probably catch your attention. Read More »

Court Prods FCC In Unexpected Direction In This Week’s Verizon Ruling

A court ruling this past Tuesday on FCC “network neutrality” regulation closes and opens a few paths in a three-way chess game that has been going on for years between the US District Court of Appeals, the FCC, and the major Internet server providers. [...] Read More »

The GovLab Index - 2014

GovLab has just released “The GovLab Index: The Networked Public — January 2014”. The GovLab Index provides a concise highlight of global trends in internet use, social media, and mobile networking.  It presents some interesting findings and might be of interest to many working in the healthcare industry. Read More »