OpenEMed Site Up and Running

OpenEMed has a new main web site at The site proclaims: OpenEMed is a distributed healthcare information system built around the OMG distributed object specifications and the HL7 (and other) data standards and is written in Java for platform portability. OpenEMed includes sample implementations of the Person Identification Service, Clinical Observation Access Service, Resource Access Decision, and Terminology Query Service which have been adopted as international standards by the Object Management Group ( through the OMG’s

Healthcare Taskforce
The system requires a CORBA 2.2 compliant ORB to run, and works with
the ORBAcus 4.0 ORB, for example.
It includes a complete JSP client implementation of a infectious disease monitoring system (RSVP) for use in an Urgent Care setting.
It also has SSL security implemented for positive identification of the user and the servers.
We are inviting others to contribute to the development of additional modules, improvements of existing modules, or additional functionality and range of application.’

Review: Cryptography Decrypted

Cryptography Decrypted by H.X. Mel and Doris Baker (ISBN 0-201-61647-5) manages to explain security issues and algorithms in depth in a way that even my 12 year old son understands everything. Simple, plain english – a
pedagogic masterpiece. It is a joy to read which is the best thing about it. Rich in illustrations, full of humor. Although I did not learn anything new regarding cryptography (after going multiple times through the draft of “Handbook of Applied Cryptography” by Menezes et al (if you ever try, bring plenty of Aspirin and Coffee)), I learned that it is possible to explain it in lay terms to lay people. Wow.

Even better: the necessary math explained in the “appendix” is fun to read! Wish I had these chapters when I was in High School suffering from math books as exciting to read as a train time table.

So, if you always wanted to know how PGP or VPN work, – go for it. Costs U$29.95 / CAN$44.95 / AU$ 50, worth every single cent. (No,I am not commercially involved in any way with it, just excited)

Python Ported to Palm

Endeavors technology has a press release that it has ported the powerful Python programming language to Palm. MbizCentral also has an article about this new development. This is big news if the Python-based Z Object Publishing Environment (ZOPE) can also be made to run on the Palm. LinuxMedNews itself and two active free and open source medical software projects: FreePM and OIO are based on ZOPE. The real question however is not whether, but how quickly will OIO’s Andrew Ho put in a few words on this article, so check the date and time stamp of his eventual reply.

Eric Raymond: Downturn May Benefit Linux

LinuxToday has an article about recent layoffs at VA Linux and what to expect in the future by noted author and open source advocate Eric Raymond of Cathedral and the Bazaar fame. Raymond writes ‘…There is actually one good thing for us about economic slumps. During them, IT departments and software users in general feel pressure to cut costs. That makes low-cost and free software more attractive. Over the next few months you can expect to see a lot of submarine Linux deployments suddenly surfacing as managers realize that they’ll look *good* on their quarterlies if they cut their licensing and service costs, and as the techies working for them get that message and fess up to how many NT boxes they’ve been replacing by stealth. So the downturn isn’t all bad news for us, by any means. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing, the best work we can. And when the economy picks up again, we will have gained by it…’

FreePM 1.0b to ship in March

FreePM project leader Tim Cook has this to say about FreePM’s future directions:

‘…We are currently testing FreePM on Zope 2.3.1b1. If all goes well, it will be the platform that our 1.0b ships on next month. It’s looking good so far. The feature list for FreePM 1.0b is coming together nicely. After more market research and lessons learned at the Fresno Summits, the list of features for the first version of FreePM has been pared down… His ‘future directions’ statement in its entirety follows.

FreePM is moving forward.

We are very happy with the Python/Zope platform because it brings such a robust and varied assortment of pre-built tools. Granted, learning to use Zope has not been an easy task. But like a true open source project it has gotten easier to learn and more stable with each new release. For more information about the future of Zope I invite you to read:

We are currently testing FreePM on Zope 2.3.1b1. If all goes well, it will be the platform that our 1.0b ships on next month. It’s looking good so far.

The feature list for FreePM 1.0b is coming together nicely. After more market research and lessons learned at the Fresno Summits, the list of features for the first version of FreePM has been pared down.

We have determined that it is more beneficial to produce a GOOD electronic medical/health record system without a lot of practice management functions than it is to incorporate these functions at the expense of the core patient record. By using the datastorage and communications features of Zope, a link to virtually any practice management system can be built to provide bidirectional data exchange.

I trust that everyone on the mailing list will agree with this position. I sincerely believe that in the long run this change in scope will create a better more useful product that will fill
the needs of many physicians offices.

There is still some work to be done on the template generator before the promised 0.6b release. I hope to see it finished up this week.

Thank you all,

Tim Cook, President – FreePM,Inc. Office: (901) 884-4126

New MedicationManager, Try it now at:

The Register: Sharp Tools Up with Linux To Fight Palm

The Register is reporting that Sharp will be putting Linux on its Zaurus PDA’s: ‘…The next Zaurus – provisionally due in the US before Christmas… will ship with Linux…Essentially, it’s all about competing with Palm and co. by providing buyers with the scope to download and add applications to the basic handheld. The idea isn’t to appeal to individual buyers, rather to target corporate customers who want to provide employees with PDAs that can hook into their networks…’

Modern Healthcare: AMGA and Aventis Will Develop Data Warehouse

Thanks to Barry Herman for this story from Modern Healthcare 2001-02-12 print version: ‘…The American Medical Group Association is teaming with an international pharmaceutical giant to develop a data warehouse that could contain sensitive information on as many as 37 million Americans. The AMGA and Aventis Pharmaceuticals say they will create a national database including a wide range of medical information, from laboratory tests and diagnoses to outpatient claims and prescription-drug use…’ Wonder if they’ll be using free and open source software? Hope so.

CNET: Microsoft Executive Says Linux Threatens Innovation

Thanks to Mary Kratz for this link: is reporting on Microsoft Executive Jim Allchin remarks that: ‘…Windows operating-system chief, Jim Allchin, says that freely distributed software code such as rival Linux could stifle innovation and that legislators need to understand the threat. The result will be the demise of both intellectual property rights and the incentive to spend on research and development…Microsoft has told U.S. lawmakers of its concern while discussing protection of intellectual property rights…Brian Behlendorf, founder of open-source company CollabNet Inc., said most companies that use the open-source development model do retain the rights to some of their intellectual property. ”I think Microsoft is trying to paint the open-source community as being fascist; that all software have has to be free, or none of it can be,” said Behlendorf, whose company helps businesses run their own open-source projects…’

Multi-Platform Development Resources

Horst Herb of the GNUmed project wrote in about this resource page for multi-platform development using wxWindows. ‘…the current wxStudio project, which is developing a Microsoft Visual Studio like IDE using wxWindows. Or the wxCVS project, which will be a multi-platform graphical interface for the CVS system. Or wxDesigner, an RAD tool developed by Robert Roebling to build wxWindows dialogs. As you can see, the wxWindows community is growing, so take a look at it the next time you have a multi-platform project in the wings…