I’ve been monitoring news about Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath since I have a family of refugees staying with me. So far, the best source has been this blog and the Hurricane Central photo gallery on the Times Picayune website. News has been rapidly forthcoming on that website throughout this disaster. Remarkable seeing much of this happen in real time.
There is an interesting interview with Scott Shreeve, MD a Co-founder of Medsphere a company which installs and supports VistA EHR: ‘…Since Medsphere was first, we had the opportunity to gather an incredible team of ex-VA and VistA luminaries. George Timson, our Senior Architect, is viewed as the rock star of the Underground Railroad, as they called it back then. He was one of the original Hardhats, the programmers who started working on VistA in 1979. There are great stories of the intrigue and political wrangling that forced this renegade group of programmers to go underground to collaborate before the VA cried uncle in 1982 and agreed to adapt VistA as their platform of choice. George created Fileman, an incredible file management tool that�s been running 20 years and still runs great today. He wants to get this incredible legacy he created out there and loves working with us to bring it to the broader market. Lots of people want to work with him. He�s one of the most intelligent and witty people I�ve every met in my life…’
Although it does not directly mention VistA, this Washington Post article describes the transformation of the VA healthcare system from worst to best: ‘…the system has undergone a dramatic transformation and now is considered by some to be a model. Researchers laud the VA for its use of electronic medical records, its focus on preventive care and its outstanding results…’
Interesting story first seen on slashdot about a new technique for the early detection of diabetes via MRI. Per slashdot it uses Linux as part of the processing, however, none of the linked articles mention this. It has also only been shown in rats but is very likely to be translated for human use.
For better or for worse the Federal government has finally arrived in the Health IT space. I suppose it was inevitable since the private sector couldn’t seem to hack it. Anyway: Washington, DC August 19, 2005 – The formation of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) was published today in the Federal Register. The notice in the Federal Register describes a formal structure for ONC, which will consist of five components:
- The Immediate Office of the National Coordinator
- The Office of Health Information Technology Adoption
- The Office of Interoperability and Standards
- The Office of Programs and Coordination
- The Office of Policy and ResearchThanks to Mari Johnson of HHS for the story.
Besides my day job working on ClearHealth and FreeB I have decided to do something else to advance GPL software in medicine. I am happy to announce GPLMedicine.org I will be using this site to publish articles, letters and other information advocating the use of the GPL license in medicine. The first thing I am publishing there is the site credo, which argues that only the GNU General Public License should be used in medical software. I have attached this short paper to this post, read on for the full text. Regards, Fred Trotter
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