Feature Articles

‘Open-Source’ Seeds Released to Nurture Patent-Free Food

An ‘open-source’ seed initiative has released 36 varieties of 14 food crops, which the project’s leaders say could help poor farmers get access to better quality seeds. The new seed varieties have been available for delivery globally from mid-May, says Irwin Goldman, a vegetable breeder and horticulturalist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who was involved in the release. Read More »

5 Assistive Technology Open Source Programs

Assistive technology software is any program or operating system feature designed to let a user with cognitive, sensory, or physical impairments use a computer system. Innovations in assistive technology software can make a huge difference in the daily lives of these people... Read More »

Can Open Science Help Patients And Save Pharma?

Open science research and development hybrid development model can protect pharma company profits while reducing costs of medicines for consumers Read More »

Open Humans Project Allows Volunteers to Share Their Personal Health Data

While many researchers encounter no privacy-based barriers to releasing data, those working with human participants, such as doctors, psychologists, and geneticists, have a difficult problem to surmount...A new project, Open Humans, seeks to resolve the issue by finding patients who are willing—even eager—to share their personal data. Read More »

7 Rules of Thumb for Your Open Science Project

Tips for creating and maintaining open source software for science. Read More »

Healthy Skepticism – Jared Sinclair's Critique of HealthKit as Both an iOS Developer and Registered Nurse

Of the many new APIs announced at WWDC this summer, HealthKit has been particularly thought-provoking for me. At the risk of sounding like that guy, I think I have a somewhat priviledged perspective of HealthKit. There can’t be that many former registered nurses who’ve switched to iOS app development and tried to start a healthcare data company.

Read More »

Open Digital Science Journal Gains Users

The medical image community embraced open source as a standard practice back in 2000, with the adoption of the Insight Toolkit (ITK). ITK is sponsored by the US National Library of Medicine and was built as a C++ library. It is the equivalent to a usable encyclopedia of image processing algorithms... Read More »

Notes on the June Meeting of the HIT Standards Committee

The June HIT Standards Committee focused on an update and evaluation of the standards and interoperability framework initiatives, consistent with the overall theme of ONC’s recent reorganization and strategic plan to focus on fewer goals with a greater depth. Steve Posnack, who now leads the ONC Office of Standards and Technology, introduced the topic... Read More »

Just how long are those wait times at the VA really?

You probably saw headlines earlier this week like this one from CNN “Audit: More than 120,000 veterans waiting or never got care.” Sounds pretty bad, and so does the lede CNN used...Want to know what that audit actually shows? Click here (pdf), or trust me to give you the main findings and some context...

Read More »

Scientists Manage Research with Open Source Zotero

Citation management tools are an easy way to organize electronic citations and PDFs into a single interface. They also allow you to export citations as a formatted bibliography. Many of them will also interact with a word processor for in-text citations. The two biggest cost-free, client-based tools are Mendeley and Zotero. I’m going to focus on Zotero, which is free and open source. It’s also the tool I like most for handling my own citations...

Read More »

Who Should Head the VA?

...last Saturday, Cosgrove suddenly withdrew his name from consideration, stating that he still had work that needed doing at the Cleveland Clinic. What might that work be? Just hours before Cosgrove made his announcement, the intrepid trade magazine Modern Healthcare published a little noticed article that revealed a long pattern of safety problems at the Cleveland Clinic—problems that were so serious that the federal government repeatedly threatened to shut off the $1 billion a year the clinic collects from Medicare.

Read More »

Mozilla's Science Lab Is a Hub for the Open Research Community

Since the launch last June of Mozilla Science Lab, we’ve been working to unpack what science on the web and like the web means, and what Mozilla can do to support it. The Science Lab was created to serve as a neutral broker and hub for the open science community—a means of bridging the gap between the early adopters and the many scientists who understand the value of open science, but who have not yet (for a number of reasons) mapped that understanding onto their day-to-day workflow...

Read More »

The ONC 10 Year Vision

On June 5th 2014, ONC released  “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: a 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure." The plan is divided in 3 year goals, 6 year goals, and 10 year goals. Five specific tactics support the strategies. Below is a summary of the report and a few comments from my Massachusetts experience that support the reasonableness of the ONC goals.

Read More »

Spain's Extremadura Region Switches Healthcare Sector to Open Source

The desktop computer systems of government healthcare organizations in the Spanish region of Extremadura all rely on free and open source software solutions. Over the past year, close to 10,000 computer workstations in public health care organizations have migrated to a customized version of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Read More »

International Team of Scientists Open Sources Search for Malaria Cure

The Open Source Malaria (OSM) project operates along very similar lines to traditional medicinal chemistry projects in that the team is looking for an antimalarial drug candidate suitable for Phase 1 clinical trials. However, the day to day running of the project works quite differently and is probably most clearly defined by the team’s commitment to The Six Laws of Open Science... Read More »