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Open source is good for your healthMatthew Aslett, April 8, 2008 @ 9:40 am ET
Or at least it will be if Open Health Tools, a new project to create standards and interoperable systems for accessing electronic health records, is a success.
The project (PDF), which involves “national health agencies, government-funded organizations and agencies, major healthcare providers, international standards organizations and companies from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States” plans to release its efforts under an open source license.
“The results will be available under an open source agreement so anyone may utilize them to provision interoperable healthcare platforms that will link clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and other points of care to make the healthcare system more efficient.”
The OHT project is open to anyone, but an important principle being followed is that the results of the devlopment process will be available to everyone, whether they are a member or not. “OHT’s governance, legal and intellectual property policies, development processes, and marketing and business practices are based on the Eclipse Foundation model. The results of member efforts are being made available under a commercially-friendly open source license.”
There are also a number of open source vendors and projects involved with the project: The Eclipse Foundation, Red Hat, IBM, Palamida, Oracle, IBM and CollabNet are all on board. Other members include Canada e-Health Infoway, Australia’s National e-Health Transition Authority, the UK’s National Health Service, and the US Veterans Health Administration.
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