Whos Who discuss FOSS in Medicine at PC Forum

Here is a summary of a healthcare panel that discussed Free and Open Source Software in medicine at the 2005 PC Forum: ‘… Larry Augustin, CEO of Medsphere, [as well as being founder of Sourceforge and on the board of OSDL] believes that open source software will play a key role in solving the healthcare dilemma. His company wants to be the Red Hat of healthcare, and has ported software originally from the Veterans Affairs Admininstration to Linux. He said that the vast majority of hospitals can’t afford the high-end proprietary system, and that open source will change the economics.

IBM general manager of healthcare and life sciences Caroline Kovac agreed with Augustin that using modern software technology and creating an open source community around healthcare IT, as well as focusing on interoperability and standards (which the National Healthcare Information Intrastructure is working on) would help reform the fragmented, broken healthcare system…Carol Diamond said during the panel, “It’s not about open source or closed source–it’s about interoperability and standards. As long as the data is moving, we shouldn’t force ourselves to choose.” She added that as long as it is faster and more profitable not to use information systems for end users, they won’t be adopted, and we don’t yet have systems that offer the value to drive adoption.

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