Open eHealth Foundation announced that Agfa HealthCare, eHealth specialist InterComponentWare (ICW), and Sun Microsystems, Inc. have joined as foundation members of the new Open eHealth Foundation, an Open Source initiative that is unique in the healthcare IT arena. The Open eHealth Foundation will provide software components under an Open Source license that will boost the open standards-based exchange of medical information.
The eHealth market is set for explosive growth. This demand is driven by growing challenges to healthcare systems in industrialized societies, as well as new medical information and communication technologies. Recent research suggested that the eHealth industry has the potential of a global budget of 73 to 88 bn US$. In order to capitalize on this huge market potential and to improve medical care, interoperability of electronic medical records and personal health records by different vendors is critical.
Open Source for eHealth
The founding members of the Open eHealth Foundation have recognized the necessity to:
- Create a worldwide community-driven software development platform to speed up the digitization of the healthcare industry.
- Enable members and healthcare organizations to create compelling solutions based on existing global clinical and administrative standards, and increase interoperability with a wide array of third-party components and platforms.