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from the Linux-Medical-News dept.
Linux Medical News is 5 years old as of March 20th, 2000. It all began with the first posting an impassioned essay on the need for good software in medical education. Since that time, there have been 970 posted articles, a great deal of editing, and millions of visitors. Has the landscape changed much since then? Is the work finished?
In medicine, surprisingly little has changed in 5 years. Most physicians still use paper charts, there is still large-scale fragmentation of medical software. The biggest change is that clinical evidence that e-health works is much easier to come by. The other change is that it now has Federal attention at the highest levels. One thing hasn't changed: multi-million dollar proprietary e-health failures continue to occur on a regular basis. I do not expect this to change and may even accelerate. On the Free and Open Source Software front, much has changed.
At the time Linux Medical News began, there were many FOSS medical projects underway, but none were ready for real world deployment and you could not easily get a service contract for one. That has all changed. There are now several thriving FOSS projects that are being used in the real world, supported by profitable companies which will sell you a service contract. In fact, competition among medical FOSS companies for service contracts is now occurring.
Linux Medical News has not stood still either. It has enjoyed a phenomenal expansion in circulation, many new subject headings, and even has T-shirts. Ace reporter Cindy passed away last summer, but despite her loss, Linux Medical News will continue to stay close to the community and report on the many things that have happened and the many things that will. The first chapter has ended, the next one begins.
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