K.S. Bhaskar Receives 2002 LMN Achievement Award

K.S. Bhaskar of Sanchez Computer Associates is the recipient of the 2002 GNU/Linux Medical News Achievement Award. The award is given to the individual who has contributed the most to medical open source software as decided by a panel of judges. The panel consisted of Tim Cook of OpenParadigms, Joseph Dalmolin of e-cology, Dr. Adrian Midgley and myself. Bhaskar convinced his employer to open source their GT.M MUMPS compiler, thereby making a completely free VistA system possible. Bhaskar says open sourcing was “A strategic investment.”

Bhaskar further says that it is an ongoing experiment that has so far led to an increase in the purchase of GT.M licenses and an increase in GT.M business for the company. The company has a dual-licensing arrangement. A GPL’ed license on x86/Linux platforms, with proprietary licensing on other platforms.

GT.M is used in banking as well as health care where 24/365 availability is required. Customers feel secure with open-sourcing of GT.M so that if Sanchez goes out of business they are not stranded.

Open sourcing GT.M was not an easy undertaking: “It is difficult to overcome pre-conceived notions. Sometimes, you have to put your career on the line.”

Bhaskar reports that the support cost to Sanchez for open-sourcing is ‘very small’. “We pay Microsoft a lot of money and get very little [support] for it. We run Redhat free and don’t have problems with it.” Saying that Linux is ‘amazingly stable’.

Chan Announces OSCAR Version 1.0 at OSHCA 2002

Dr. David Chan at the 2002 OSHCA conference has announced the availability on Sourceforge of OSCAR version 1.0. In development since 1988, the projects’ informative web site says: “There is no other software out there with OSCAR’s capabilites and no other Open Source clinical application so advanced…” Editor: The demo done at OSHCA revealed a fully functional, mature electronic medical record.

UK leads in new open source health initiatives

UK health informatics experts are leading two new open source initiatives, the recently-approved Open Source Health Informatics Working Group (OSWG) of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) and Open Nurse, the nursing open source network.

The IMIA Open Source Health Informatics Working Group is IMIA’s newest working group, and aims to bring together experts and interested individuals from a wide range of health professions, and with a range of interests in the potential application of open source solutions within their domains of expertise.

Open Nurse, the nursing open source network, is the first international initiative to explore the application of open source software in nursing and nursing informatics.

The IMIA OSWG will explore the implications of the open source approach for all aspects of health informatics and the appropriate use of open source solutions and applications. The OSWG will seek to work closely with other open source groups, to foster work and discussions.

The working Group is co-chaired by Professor Graham Wright, Director of CHIRAD, and chaired by Dr.Jan Vejvalka, of the Department of Applied Informatics, Charles University, Czech Republic.

Open Nurse will provide a collaborative forum within which to explore, promote and facilitate the use of open source software and approaches in nursing, healthcare and nursing informatics.

The development of Open Nurse is being lead by Dr Peter Murray.

Professor Graham Wright is Director of CHIRAD (Centre for Health Informatics Research and Development), which is the UK’s first virtual health informatics research centre and the UK’s first academic institutional member of IMIA.

Dr Peter Murray is a Founding Fellow of CHIRAD and the UK representative to IMIA.

Both Prof. Wright and Dr Murray are nurses and nurse educators with many years’ experience in their fields within the UK and internationally.

IMIA OSWG – www.chirad.info/imiaoswg

Open Nurse – www.open.nurse.info

IMIA – www.imia.org

CHIRAD – www.chirad.info

Graham Wright – graham.wright@chirad.info

Peter Murray – peter.murray@chirad.info

Clinical Information System available VIA WAP

Found this notice on Sourceforge this morning. Looks like another hospital has decided to build their own Opensource clinical solution. The latest is enabling WAP [which makes it available on cell phones!]. The story can be found here:
Care 2002
Looks like an interesting project, especialy with the inclusion of bar code scanning. Editor’s Note: we reported on this project in July, but nice to see it is progressing.

Live from The 2002 AMIA Symposium in San Antonio

We are live from the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Fall 2002 Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. The Symposium’s theme this year is ‘Biomedical Informatics: One Discipline’. The Free/Open Source scene will feature David Forslund’s poster on his OpenEMed based epidemiological information system. As well as other open source posters. I’ll be preaching Free/Open Source for 20 minutes at the Student Working Group Meeting on 11/11/02 at 8:00pm in the El Mirador room, 22nd Floor, Hilton Palacio del Rio hotel. The open source pickings are a little slim this year, probably because OSHCA starts Thursday in Los Angeles.