FreePM Apparently Dead, TORCH Lives

The FreePM website now points to casino’s and other websites. The registration has apparently expired which leads to the conclusion that the project is no longer going forward. However, former president and lead developer of FreePM Tim Cook forked the project recently so that it continues as the TORCH project with Open Paradigms, the company he formed. This actually demonstrates how robust free and open source software is, in that the software survives the fall of the sponsoring company.

Netscape 7.0 Released

Last week Netscape
released version 7.0 of their browser. The browser
is heavily based upon the free/open source
browser. This is a significant event because it
proved against formidable odds that open source
software can deliver competitive products without
exorbitant, onerous and restrictive licensing
that can benefit a for-profit company. For medicine
it is a great asset because of its familiar name and
that the browsers functionality can be embedded
into medical software in ways the original
programmers may not have forseen. Unknown, is
whether it will be able to regain some of its
former market share.

Bizjournals: ‘simpler path to medical records’

This (free registration) story about a closed source EMR is interesting for its approach: The doctor continues using pen and paper notes which get scanned in. The reason: “A requirement for the programmers was that a doctor had to be able to figure out how to use it in 15 minutes or less,” Seems pretty limiting to me, but is a possible answer to the ‘I’m not a typist!’ type doctor. While we are discussing closed source, this smells of the usual expensive Health-IT disaster in the making.

Mercury News: Insurers write off investment in MedUnite

The Mercury News has this story about MedUnite: ‘…An attempt by seven big health insurers to take control of electronic services that link them with patients and doctors has run into financial trouble, industry officials said, and most of the companies have written off all or most of their investment. Insurance companies expect to reap enormous savings if they can persuade hundreds of thousands of doctors to use computers and the Internet instead of telephones and paper to submit claims…’ Which also begs the question how is Healtheon/WebMD doing?