Hooray! March 30th is Linux Medical News 2nd birthday. 430 articles have been posted since the first article on March 30th, 2000. The site has grown considerably since then, adding a newsletter , a surprisingly active Jobs/Classified’s section, hosting several lists such as MedNews and ZopyMed as well as increasing its audience by a factor of 10 over its first week. More importantly, significant events have happened in the world of free and open source medical software.
2 years ago, many free and open source medical software projects were just beginning and full of idealism. Unfortunately, there was little in the way of ready for prime-time software. However, there was a breathless enthusiasm and a sense of promise in the air, that vexing medical IT problems such as incompatibility, vendor-lock in, fragmentation and high cost could be surmounted with free and open source software.
Since then, a little of the boundless excitement in free and open source medical software faded as the dot-com era boom turned bust. Some of the optimistic estimates for real-world free and open source medical software product availability became replaced by a sobering reality.
Despite this, many projects such as FreePM, GNUmed and many more have showed enormous progress in a short time, nearing real-world ready status. Psychiatry-oriented SQLClinic has actually reached 1.0 status.
The dream of free and open source medical software unifying medicine under standard, non-proprietary software with its attendant increases in quality of care and decrease in cost is very much alive. Considerable progress toward these goals have been made in these two short years. If large scale events such as the now commonplace embrace of free and open source software by the likes of IBM, Sun Microsystems and Wall Street continues, then the possibility of a free and open source medical software industry being born is high. Linux Medical News will continue to be honored to be a chronicler and participant in these transforming events.