MedSphere is really open source.

Today George Timson (author of FileMan) clarified that Medspheres OpenVistA is open source contrary to the information found in the recent Fortune Magazine VistA Article, already mentioned here. From the post:
“For those interested, I just want to note that Medsphere’s product is NOT proprietary. (“OpenVista” would not be a very appropriate name for a proprietary product!) We’ve installed CUSTOMIZED versions of Vista at several hospitals, and these customized suites of software include proprietary components from a few third-party vendors like Sea Island Systems and Informatix Laboratories Corporation. The basic CPS/VistA product we install and support is open source.

This is not the first article that called OpenVistA proprietary. The claim that OpenVistA is proprietary is deeply concerning. This is usually not a problem for projects that use a keep-it-free license like the GPL, but since VistA is accessible via a FOIA request, the copyright is held in the public domain.

It is possible for someone to take FOIA VistA, and call it “Bobs EHR” and sell it as a proprietary closed-source solution. So when articles like this one in Fortune magazine come out and claim that Medsphere is selling a proprietary product, it can cause quite a flurry in the Open Source community. Especially with the medical free software crowd.

However, Scott Shreeve, Steve Shreeve and Ken Kizer have all privately assured me that MedSphere is committed to releasing an open source product. They have already released considerable improvements to the FileMan system and they intend to release other improvements when they are ready.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *