Feature Articles

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. The 398-bed hospital serves the acute and long-term inpatient mental health and medical needs of North Carolina citizens from 26 counties and employs more than 1,900 staff, including 50 doctors, 300 professional nurses, 700 nursing assistants, 40 psychologists, and 70 social workers. Central Regional Hospital is a major teaching site for 23 psychiatric residents per year from Duke University and the University of North Carolina medical schools.  It also provides training for medical students from both schools as well as psychiatry subspecialty fellowship training. 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 »

Happy Public Domain Day

Copyright is a time-limited, Government-awarded monopoly, given to individuals as an incentive for the creation of works of art, and their eventual dedication to the Public Domain. [...] Read More »

Precision Medicine, Genomics & 'Open Health'

Traditional medicine, integrative medicine, preventive medicine, predictive medicine, regenerative medicine – and now we have 'precision medicine'.

The purpose of this article is to provide a brief introduction and high level overview of 'Precision Medicine' to health information technology (IT) managers and analysts, along with pointers to key resources or sources of information they might want to explore if they decide to delve deeper into the topic. Read More »

The Role Of Big Data In Personalizing The Healthcare Experience: Mobile

Cheaper, faster, better technology is enabling nearly one in four people around the world to connect with each other anytime, anywhere, as online social networks have changed the way we live, work and play. In healthcare, the data generated by mobile phones and sensors can give us new information about ourselves, extend the reach of our healers and help to accelerate a societal shift towards greater personal engagement in healthcare. Read More »

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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