IMIA OSWG Award – winner Ignacio Valdes

Ignacio Valdes, Editor of Linux Medical News and Vice Chair of the AMIA Open Source Working Group is the recipient of the inaugural annual award of the IMIA Open Source Working Group. The award is made in recognition of long-standing significant achievment in the promotion of free/libre and open source software in health informatics.

The award was presented at the annual business meeting of the AMIA OSWG in Washington DC on 13 November, 2006 by Peter Murray, IMIA Vice President for Working Groups and Special Interest Groups.

Medsphere Betrays Community

Medsphere Corporation, which claims to be ‘the leading supplier of open source software for the healthcare industry’ recently sued its founders, the Shreeve brothers, for releasing company software as Open Source on Sourceforge. The key argument in the lawsuit is whether the Shreeves informed Medsphere CEO Ken Kizer that they intended to release code on sourceforge before doing so. I have proof that Ken Kizer was informed of the release. Further I have confirmed that Medsphere appears to be suing anyone who downloaded the code from SourceForge for racketeering.
I am releasing this information only after Eric Raymond and I have attempted to reach a peaceful resolution with Medsphere.


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IMIA Open Source Working Group Award established

The IMIA General Assembly approved on 10 November 2006 the establishment of an annual award by the IMIA Open Source Health Informatics Working Group (OSWG). The inaugural award will be made at the AMIA OSWG meeting on 13 November in Washington DC.

The IMIA General Assembly also finally ratified the proposal for the IMIA OSWG to co-sponsor the Annual Linux Medical News Award.

Final bit of breaking news for those who like to plan ahead – the medinfo2010 conference will be held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Guide to all things Open

Douglas Goldstein and co-author Peter Groen have an article entitled: Understanding Open Solutions and Terminology in Healthcare in Virtual Medical World that compares and contrasts all things that call themselves Open: ‘Having heard so many people recently using the terms “open systems”, “open computing”, and “open source” interchangeably, believing they all mean the same thing, the authors felt it was time to once again get back to basics and write a short article defining some of these terms and pointing out the critical differences between them…’ Another article in the same issue on the future of healthcare predicts that by the year 2020: ‘…The EHRs in use will be interoperable, standards based and many will be Open Solutions that are supported by an international network of companies and community of users and developers, e.g. WorldVistA EHR, OSCAR, OpenEMR…’

OpenEMR vulnerability disclosed

An Indonesean Hacker named Dedi Dwianto has just publicized a Vulnerability in OpenEMR. This is a significant milestone for the project. This means that OpenEMR is popular enough for a security researcher to take notice. Open Source has the potential to be more secure, but only if security researchers look for flaws and then the projects respond by fixing the code. (I wish I had hackers studying my code…) I am sure that the OpenEMR folks will be releasing a patch soon. If you are an OpenEMR user, you should upgrade to the soon-to-be-released version ASAP. Read more for a description of the vulnerability…

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PCMag: Is Microsoft Going to Start a Linux War?

Columnist John C. Dvorak on PC Magazine writes: ‘In a surprise announcement, Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer seems to be doing a deal with Novell and the SUSE Linux folks. Apparently, the goal is to make Linux interoperable with Windows and perhaps move some apps onto the Linux platform. What could be brewing? Does it make any sense that Microsoft is going to embrace Linux in a big way? After all, Ballmer used to demean it…’