For patients looking for medical advice in between visits to the doctor, e-mail can be a good way to get it. But doctors are often reluctant to engage in e-mail consultations with their patients, and a new federal medical-privacy law is providing further discouragement. NPR’s Larry Abramson and Keith Seinfeld of member station KPLU report on doctor-patient relationships in the age of the Internet.
‘…We are delighted to announce that the fourth annual [The Open Source Healthcare Alliance (OSHCA)] conference will be hosted by the University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland, home of Health on the Net (HON), on 7 -9 December, 2003. The conference is being coordinated with two other important events: MEDNET2003 and the World Summit on the Information Society, Platform on ICT Development. (see http://www.mednet2003.org and http://www.ict-4d.org)…Abstracts must be submitted no later than 1 August, 2003. Submissions may be made by completing the abstract submission form at: www.e-cology.ca/oshca2003_call.html’ The full text of the announcement is within.
Call for Presentations
OSHCA 2003 – 4th Annual Open Source Health Care Alliance Meeting
Deadline: 1 August, 2003
Interest and the rate of adoption of Open source methods and
applications in both private and public sectors has gained significant
momentum around the world in this last year. OSHCA is the pioneering and
driving force for this positive and innovative approach to information
technology innovation and dissemination in the health sector.
We are delighted to announce that the fourth annual annual conference
will be hosted by the University Hospital of Geneva, Switzerland, home
of Health on the Net (HON), on 7 -9 December, 2003. The conference is
being coordinated with two other important events: MEDNET2003 and the
World Summit on the Information Society, Platform on ICT Development.
(seehttp://www.mednet2003.org and http://www.ict-4d.org)
This three day conference will consist of presentations, poster sessions
and workshops on a variety of issues concerning the promotion, use and
adoption of open source software in health care as it affects all
Abstracts must be submitted no later than 1 August, 2003. Submissions
may be made by completing the abstract submission form at: www.e-cology.ca/oshca2003_call.html
Joseph Dal Molin
Joseph Dal-Molin found this case study of Open Source Software in a Dublin, Ireland hospital: ‘This study describes the implementation of open source software in a
large Irish public sector organization, Beaumont Hospital. The findings
reveal a radical shift in open source deployment from invisible
horizontal infrastructure systems to highly visible vertical
applications. The case study describes the implementation of these
systems, the difficulties encountered, and also the benefits in terms of
astonishing cost savings of �13m over 5 years. Given that Beaumont
were already receiving academic pricing discounts for many of their
original proprietary closed source applications, the savings for a
typical commercial organization could be even higher. The study also
identifies the primary drivers in the move to OSS, namely principle,
pragmatism and practicality…’
Dan Johnson has the distinction of creating the first known writings on Free and Open Source Software in medicine. He has updated his Open Source Essays page with a couple of new pieces: Open Source: A New IT Management Paradigm and Open Source: How the Management Paradigm Works as well as Michael K. Johnson’s material: Open Source Best Practices (Michael K. Johnson is Manager, Kernel Technology, Red Hat, Inc.Raleigh,
NC). Finally, Michael McCoy, MD’s use cases story at UCLA Healthcare: A CIO’s Perspective of Open Source (McCoy is CIO, UCLA Healthcare, Los Angeles, CA)
Open Paradigms,LLC has announced a new update for TORCH. Free registration is required to download TORCHUPDATE_20030524.zip from the downloads section of openparadigms.com. Read TORCHUPDATE_20030524.txt for complete upgrade instructions. Highlights include templates created from the Medical Algorithms Project. Full release notes are within.
There are a few bug fixes in this update.
There was a bug in the edit_emrProcessor method that prevented saving updated
basic EHR information.
There were several page redirects that did not always reference the correct frame name
depending on the number of EHR’s open at one time.
I have created some new templates that demonstrate the flexibility of the TORCH
template system. I hope this encourages others to create templates or contracts Open Paradigms,LLC to do so for them.
The first one goes in the Routine Exam folder. This template will take the values of Height and Weight from the Basic Information section of the EHR then calculate the BMI. The Height & Weight will be filled in on the Encounter form and text will be written into the Physical Exam portion of the Encounter.
This template uses the existing BMI scripts in TORCH and is sensitive to the setting for Metric vs. English ht & wt.
The next is the Mini Mental State Examination.
The new pediatric folder contains one template that calculates the Yale Observation Scales.
The new Occupational Health folder contains one template that calculates the California Disability Rating System percentage of loss.
** Some of these templates were created based on information from the Medical Algorithms Project www.medal.org. **
The Royal College of General Practitioners has selected a Trustix Linux based system and shares more than ancedotal evidence of improvements. Here’s an exceprt from this vnunet.com article. Sending 6,000 copies of a bulletin, which typically took days and tied up the (ed. Windows) server for the whole time, now runs in 15 to 20 minutes, according to Betts.
Linux Networx announced today that diaDexus, a developer of diagnostic and therapeutic products, is using a Linux Networx� Evolocity� II (E2) cluster computing system to expedite the development of diagnostic products for cancer and cardiovascular disease. The E2 system has helped speed the rate of gene analysis for the development of future diagnostic products from weeks to hours, or by more than 20x compared to the large, multiprocessing RISC-based machine diaDexus used previously.
Diagnostics help detect the presence of certain diseases so proper medical treatment can begin in the early stages of the disease. The Linux Networx system analyzes DNA and protein sequences to locate specific disease targets. The targets are then used to develop diagnostic products for diseases that are typically difficult to detect at an early stage, such as ovarian cancer.
Using applications such as BLAST�, BLAT and HMMER, the Linux Networx system allows diaDexus to evaluate public and private databases of gene data much faster than was ever possible before, allowing diaDexus to stay current with any new gene and genomic information.
�Obtaining up-to-date information is critical to our discovery and development. The Linux Networx cluster helps us reduce the information processing time from weeks to hours, saving diaDexus significant costs and speeding up our R&D timelines,� said Timothy Burcham, Ph.D., senior director of bioinformatics for diaDexus. �We knew we could trust Linux Networx to build a fast, reliable cluster solution because of their experience in the life sciences and demonstrated Linux cluster expertise.�
Linux clustering is a method of linking multiple computers together to form a unified and more powerful system. diaDexus� E2 system includes 32 Intel� Xeon� processors, and Clusterworx� and ICE Box� cluster management tools from Linux Networx. Linux Networx has built some of the world�s fastest supercomputers, and currently has a system that ranks as the world�s fastest Linux computer and also ranks the fifth fastest supercomputer ever built (www.top500.org).
About Linux Networx
Linux Networx (www.linuxnetworx.com) brings its powerful and easy-to-manage cluster technology to those demanding high performance computing and high availability systems. Linux Networx provides solutions for organizations involved in biotechnology research, oil and gas exploration, aeronautical and chemical modeling, graphics rendering and visual effects, and other technological research fields. Through its innovative Evolocity� hardware, ICE� cluster management tools and professional service and support, Linux Networx provides end-to-end clustering solutions. To date, the company has built some of the fastest cluster systems in the world, and boasts numerous Fortune 500 customers. In 2002, Linux Networx designed and delivered the world�s fastest Linux supercomputer.
Open Paradigms, LLC president Tim Cook made a major announcement today of possibly the first independent consultant program and sign of growth for the fledgling Free/Open Source Medical Software industry: ‘After receiving several requests from IT shops and independent consultants Open Paradigms,LLC has developed the Torch Independent Consultant (TIC) Program. The TIC program is designed to provide independent consultants with the information and tools needed install and support the electronic health record application TORCH. TORCH is licensed under the GPL and can be downloaded from the Open Paradigms,LLC website…’ The full text of the announcement is within.
After receiving several requests from IT shops and independent consultants Open Paradigms,LLC has developed the TIC Program.
The TIC program is designed to provide independent consultants with the information and tools needed install and support the electronic health record application TORCH. TORCH is licensed under the GPL and can be downloaded from the Open Paradigms,LLC website.
The TIC CD contains the latest version of TORCH and other software as well as information about the electronic health record market and to market to physicians and their office managers. Registration in TIC also provides the consultant with initial telephone and email support. Additional support packages are available for TIC partners.
Less than 10% of physicians are currently using an electronic health record system.
HIPAA regulations are increasing the documentation and reporting requirements for access to patient identifiable data. Using TORCH makes that task a background function. TORCH also makes it possible to give patients or consulting physicians access directly to the records.
TORCH is a template driven, Python based application that can be extended to support and medical speciality. TORCH uses a web browser interface. There is a demo on our website.
Get more information about TORCH and more specifically the TIC Program at the Open Paradigms,LLC website.
Dr. Alexander Caldwell suggested I post this announcement for what he believes is the only Mac-specific public domain electronic medical record. It can also be reformatted to run on PC or Linux systems. It’s not purely public-domain because these templates run under Filemaker 3.0, but Filemaker 3.0 for Macintosh sells for $80 which is pretty close to free in the EMR field.
The website where I’ve posted it can be found here. Please let me know if you have any trouble with the site.
The current Google Dance is restoring the orginal FreeMED project to the
First Result! Several years ago the FreeMED project lost control of its primary URL www.freemed.org. Since that time we have been regulated to scoring 5th or even 10th on Google. We recently bit the bullet and bought it back. So many people had linked to that URL that it is now back to number one.
Our ultimate goal is to have the top ten results all FreeMED related results. We are very close! The top slot is the repurchased FreeMED.org, but also on the list are the sourceforge pages, the freshmeat pages, the Foundation Pages and The FreeMED sister project FreeMED-YiRC.
Fred Trotter, CISSP