Disruption of Health Care

In this month’s Wired, Bruce Sterling has a seemingly off topic article: “A few radical inventors could wreck America’s dysfunctional medical system.” However…..

I would think the disruptive part is something medical FOSS is currently heading towards.

It may also be that it will come in different forms, perhaps helping out in some of the examples that Bruce Sterling cites, or others.

Taking Bruce Sterling’s out side of the box approach- EMR’s for home use anyone?

Seattle OpenVistA R&D Meeting May 12th-15th, 2005

This post just in on the hardhats list: ‘Thursday, May 12th to Sunday, May 15th, WorldVistA is holding a small
technical meeting to verify, package, and release OpenVistA version 4.
Since this will be a technical meeting, it will not make a good venue
for those seeking an introduction to VistA, or looking for installs on
their laptops or discussion sessions, or even to socialize or make
plans. It will be an old-style, heads-down, hard-working meeting
focused on achieving results as efficiently as possible…’
Read More for the complete text of the announcement.

Continue reading

Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler (STEM)

Slashdot had a link to this article on IBM‘s website regarding a interesting epidimiological modeler that runs on Linux. The screenshot in the upper right hand corner tells the story. Excerpt: ‘…Policymakers responsible for creating strategies to contain diseases and prevent epidemics need an accurate understanding of disease dynamics and the likely outcomes of preventative actions. In an increasingly connected world with extremely efficient global transportation links, the vectors of infection can be quite complex. STEM facilitates the development of advanced mathematical models, the creation of flexible models involving multiple populations (species) and interactions between diseases, and a better understanding of epidemiology…’

California Medical Society Endorses Athena Software

Editor’s note: the website appears to be up now, but turn your speaker volume down for a noisy sales pitch. Health Data Management has a story on the California Medical Society endorsing Athena’s (note the spelling, this is NOT Aetna) ASP software which I hope works better than its website which at the time of this writing is down. ‘The California Medical Association has endorsed the software and services of athenahealth Inc. and will make them available at discounted pricing to its 35,000 physician members.

The Waltham, Mass.-based vendor sells physician practice management software remotely hosted via the application service provider computing model. It also offers outsourced billing and collections services…’

Think Smart Initiative in Ontario Canada

Why has Ontario, Canada chosen to link their Smart Systems for Health Agency to the proprietary .NET technologies? I recently was perusing the website for the Ontario, Canada Smart Health initiative and noticed that a lot of the job postings were for .NET technologies. The question I would have is why tax payer money is being spent toward what will amount to a proprietary solution? Are there sufficiently advanced Open Source projects which could be “suggested” to this agency for inclusion in their efforts?

Use of FOSS in DNA Microarrays

There is an interesting article in Genomics and Proteomics on the dominence of ‘Freeware’ (which is a misnomer in this case, it should say Free/Open Source Software) vs. proprietary software in genomics research: ‘…Whether an academic DNA microarray user is able to use the accompanying software relates to the nature of academic research, Welebob says, and what they are using the software to do. “For academia, researchers are sitting on National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation grants, and the goal is to get published. To get published, they have to work within very novel space, so they need software packages where they can open the source code and [alter the program] themselves when they need to. They may be doing experiments and experimental designs that are very different than what a commercial package would support, because commercial packages in many ways are built to support more mainstream experimental designs and applications, which represent the largest market.”

Problems with WebMD/Medical Manager OmniDoc/OmniChart

An anonymous reader wrote in with these un-edited comments: ‘…WE ARE HAVING EXTENSIVE ———-EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE ISSUES WITH WEBMD/MEDICAL MANAGER WITH OMNIDOC / OMNICHART OUTRAGEOUS PRICES FOR “SUPPORT” WE END UP DOING OURSELVES. ANY WORD ON ANYTHING TO HELP. If you will please take out my name and email address…fighting webmd and issues with these products but must use them every day. The Webmd conference each year in Florida is the biggest group of angry owners i have ever seen…’ Linux Medical News had a discussion about what to do. One reader comment may be salient: ‘…overall the software is not better or worse than other commercial software solutions.
All of the above is another way of saying that from my perspective all of the commercial software products for medical practice management are substandard, which is why i am looking to open source software. in other words, my first reason for considering open source software is not cost but software quality…
There has been no new information that I know of since Federal Agents Investigated in 2003.

ClearHealth Forums Available

ClearHealth is a next generation practice management system and EMR. This php based system takes DNA from the FreeMED and OpenEMR projects. It is based on the Smarty templating engine. ClearHealth uses the FreeB2 medical billing engine and the source code is available for download here. The ClearHealth Project now has a discussion Forum. For the foreseeable future this will be used instead of a support mailing list. If you have any questions regarding the system, the project or the supporting company, feel free to ask here. Editor’s note: ClearHealth stable release is tentatively scheduled for Mid-May 2005.