Feature Articles

Human Augmentation, Exoskeleton Technology & 'Open' Health

Human augmentation is generally used to refer to technologies that enhance human productivity or capability. It spans a wide gamut of technologies, ranging from implants, prosthetic limbs, enhanced sensory devices, powered exoskeletons, and more. Military organizations are now experimenting with a wide range of 1st generation human augmentation technologies, including exoskeletons that allow personnel to carry increased loads and perform at a higher level. These devices also have the potential to be adapted for use in healthcare and many other industries. Read More »

'Internet of Things (IoT)' morphing into the 'Internet of Everything (IoE)'

The numbers are staggering.  Gartner predicts that the total economic value add for the Internet of Things (IoT)will be $1.9 trillion dollars in 2020, spread across all industries – especially in healthcare. McKinsey Global Institute pegs the potential economic impact at $2.7 trillion to $6.2 trillion by 2025. IDC put the Internet of things technology and services spending at $4.8 trillion in 2012 and expects the market to be $8.9 trillion in 2020.  Cisco Systems has published a white paper entitled "Embracing the Internet of Everything To Capture Your Share of $14.4 Trillion". Key to this rapidly evolving market are open standards and open source technology. Read More »

OpenHatch Brings Open Source to College Campuses

A little less than a year ago, I was asked to direct OpenHatch‘s Open Source Comes to Campus event series. Open Source Comes to Campus is a workshop designed to introduce college students to open source, to teach them how to use tools like version control and issue trackers, and to guide them through making their first contributions. When I joined, OpenHatch was averaging two events a year. I was asked, hopefully, if I could run seven events in 2013.

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Masters In Counseling: Free Social Networking & Information Web Sites

Masters In Counseling.Org is a free informational web site for those who are interested in enrolling in an online degree program to obtain a Master of Counseling degree. The site now contains a list of pages on Google+, just compiled by Laura Harris, that link to social networking sites with information and resources aimed specifically at the mental health and counseling communities. Read More »

Health IT Buzz: Progress on Adoption of Electronic Health Records

Latest Health IT Buzz on Health Information Technology (HIT) from the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) - Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA] – which included the creation of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs – was signed into law, the nation has seen unprecedented growth in the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs). Between 2009 and 2012, EHR adoption nearly doubled among physicians and more than tripled among hospitals. Read More »

The 'Open' Education & Training Revolution Continues

First came free and 'open' source software. Then along came 'Open Access', 'Open' Data, 'Open' Standards, 'Open' IT Architecture, 'Open' Hardware, 'Open' Communities, 'Open' Government, 'Open' Education, and …  The 'Open' Movement continues to spread disrupting almost every industry.  The 'Open' Revolution is a rapidly spreading 21st century global phenomenon. Read More »

Overview of the National Intelligence Council report on "Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds"

Take the time to look over the fifth installment in the National Intelligence Council’s (NIC) series of reports aimed at providing a framework for thinking about the future entitled "Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds". It's an excellent report well worth reading.In this volume, they expanded their coverage of disruptive technologies, devoting a separate section to it in the work. The report also contains a chapter on the potential trajectories for the U.S. role in the International system. The report is intended to stimulate thinking about the rapid and vast geopolitical changes characterizing the world today and possible global trajectories during the next 15-20 years. Read More »

Finding Financial Investors for new 'Open Source' Health IT Companies

This short article is meant to provide a high level overview and guidance about the major stages of financing new companies go through as they mature. This includes companies offering products or services in the 'Open Health' arena such as open source software, open data, open access, and open hardware solutions. Read More »

Health eTime Scheduler: the Winning Solution

On October 3, 2013, the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced the winners of its Medical Appointment Scheduling Contest. The Health eTime solution, developed by MedRed LLC, BT and VISTA Expertise Network, was named as 1st Place winner and awarded a $1.85 million prize. VA evaluators determined that Health eTime best instantiated their next generation scheduling requirements...What follows is a summation of the contest process, our efforts, as well as details of the emerging Health eTime solution. Read More »

Oroville Hospital’s Scheduler: a winning technology

On October 3rd, the winners of the US Dept of Veteran’s Affairs’ (VA) Medical Appointment Scheduling Contest were announced.  In second place was the OH Scheduler, which was the submission from Oroville Hospital in California.  I’d like to expand on their press release and provide some background to the technology that was used to develop their scheduler: it’s very much a case study of everything I’ve been talking about in my blog The EWD Files. As it happens, the OH Scheduler was first and foremost designed and developed for use at Oroville Hospital.  However, since their Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR) is based on the VA’s VistA system, Oroville Hospital believed that it should also meet many of the key requirements of the VA and therefore submitted it as a contender for the VA’s competition. Read More »

Darwinian Health IT: Only well-designed EHRs will survive

Myopic efforts to meet certification and compliance requirements have added functionality and effort tangential to the care of the patient. Clinicians feel like they are working for the system instead of it working for them. The best EHRs are focused on helping physicians take care of patients, with Meaningful Use and ICD-10 derivative of patient care and documentation. Read More »

Major Upcoming Open Source & Health IT Conferences – October 2013

There are a number of major upcoming conferences and events related to Open Source & Health Information Technology (HIT) our readers at Open Health News (OHN) might want to follow or attend over this next month. For example: Read More »

The Politics of the EHR: Why we’re not where we want to be and what we need to do to get there

By now, it seems abundantly clear that the vast potential offered by universal adoption of electronic health records (EHR) has not been achieved.  Indeed, the fulfillment of that potential seems a long way off.  Unsolved problems with interoperability, usability, safety, and security, to name a few, remain, and continue to pose barriers to universal adoption. There is ample evidence in the medical literature, of the unsolved problems of the EHR.  Indeed, two recent reports that offer (probably inadequate) solutions highlight the difficulties that exist with the EHR.  The proliferation of these problems has only increased with the increase in adoption of the EHR by physicians and institutions.   The Texas Medical Association has asked the (at the time) ONC, Farhad Mostashari, MD, to establish a health IT patient safety czar.1 Read More »

Open Source & IT Procurement

Paul Matthews, Chief Executive of the Institute of IT Professionals (IITP) congratulated Commerce Minister Foss for listening to the IT industry and supporting the nearly unanimous passage of New Zealand's recent law banning software patents. Read More »

Cancer And Clinical Trials: The Role Of Big Data In Personalizing The Health Experience

Despite considerable progress in prevention and treatment, cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States. Even with the $50 billion pharmaceutical companies spend on research and development every year, any given cancer drug is ineffective in 75% of the patients receiving it. [...] Read More »