Latest Blog Posts

Hybrid Open Source Software Development & Business Models

Starting in the early 2000s, a number of companies began to release a portion of their product's source code to the open source community, while keeping key parts closed. This allowed them to make claims that their company and products were open source. These products were termed commercial open source or hybrid open source software, to distinguish them from true free and open source software (FOSS). In hybrid open source business models, some of the software products are released using a business-friendly open source license, but some of the special source code add-ons are only available for a fee. There currently appear to be two major forms of the hybrid open source business model...

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Notes on the Future of Health Care in America: 2020-2050

The health care industry will continue to grow in importance, both in the U.S. and around the world. New technologies, in particular, will play a key role in dramatically changing the practice of medicine and improving people's health. In addition to the National Health Information Network (NHIN) in the U.S., global health information exchange networks will be put in place by 2040 to support the continued growth of the global health care industry and to fight global pandemics.

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'Open' Government Health Information Portals for Consumers

There are many free Health Information portals that have been developed and made available online by the U.S. government for consumers to obtain trusted information about a wide range of health related issues, e.g. nutrition, cancer, womens health, etc.  Take a quick look at some of these and share the links to these portals with friends and family.

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Looking for Open Health IT Jobs

Looking to find a job associated with 'Open' Health IT projects or organizations. More and more people are getting interested. Check out the following Open Source and Health IT job sites.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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


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 - 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.

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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 »