OpenSource Medical Software website

Editor’s note: Looks like another FOSS in healthcare project list. These types of lists have a long history like: Linux Medical News’ list which has been around many years, there is also the spirit project and you can Google for more. Best wishes for this one which looks nicely laid out. is a website containing a recopilation of sites and project related to
medical software with some type of opensource license.

We would be very pleased if the authors of OS projects just test if their work is already listed.
If not, you can just add it to the listing.

The maintainers of the site are also interested in comments coming from the experience of the
users of any listed OS project, notifications on project updates, requesting help from
coders or testers, suggestions, etc.

Nobel Prize Winner Blasts Medical Patents

Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz published Scrooge and intellectual property rights in the British Medical Journal. In it he attacks the fundamental justification for drug patents, the supposed encouragement of private investment in high risk drugs. It is enough to say that his arguments go double for medical software patents which have all of the drawbacks of drug patents, except that they do not require a significant investment at all, so there is no justification whatsoever. The next time you hear a medical software company talk about an “innovation” they have patented you should cringe at the theft of a simple idea from the FOSS world.


A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection

A computer security specialist speaks out on VistA content protection or digital rights management in a medical environment: ‘…the field of medical imaging either bans outright or strongly frowns on any form of lossy compression because artifacts introduced by the compression process can cause mis-diagnoses and in extreme cases even become life-threatening. Consider a medical IT worker who’s using a medical imaging PC while listening to audio/video played back by the computer (the CDROM drives installed in workplace PCs inevitably spend most of their working lives playing music or MP3 CDs to drown out workplace noise). If there’s any premium content present in there, the image will be subtly altered by Vista’s content protection, potentially creating exactly the life-threatening situation that the medical industry has worked so hard to avoid. The scary thing is that there’s no easy way around this – Vista will silently modify displayed content under certain (almost impossible-to-predict in advance) situations discernable only to Vista’s built-in content-protection subsystem…’

Announcing The APC Chris Nicol FOSS Prize IN 2007

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) Chris Nicol FOSS Prize [more info here] recognises initiatives that are making it easy for people to start using free and open source software (FOSS). The prize will be awarded to a person or group doing extraordinary work to make FOSS accessible to ordinary computer users.

The APC FOSS Prize has been established to honor Chris Nicol, a long time FOSS advocate and activist who for many years worked with APC.

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GNUmed 0.2.3 released

Today we are releasing a new GNUmed version.
Version is up to 0.2.3

Version features and bug fixes are explained in our Wiki

Packages available as usual for GNU/Linux and MS Windows

Debian packages will follow soon I hope, MacOSX packages didn’t make it yet due to unexplained problems with the Mac port.

In general it looks like the code is getting much more stable and easier to fix and extent. Maybe one day we will even see an alternative GUI client 🙂

Health IT News Wheel of Misfortune

Health-IT news articles usually follow a perennial pattern of loud hype followed by quiet failure. If what was at stake were not so important, the never ending raft of optimistic and un-critical press releases and articles about ‘progress’, ‘advances’ and ‘announced plans to’ would be a cause for amusement, guffaws and occasional cavorting at the lemming-like behavior of so many organizations and journalists touting the next big thing. To illustrate, here’s a list of recent news items for your reading pleasure. For further amusement, please use the following 3 ambulance scoring system for each of the projects described: 0 ambulances (succeed), 1 ambulances (fail), 2 ambulances (multi-million dollar fail) and 3 ambulances (multi-million dollar fail with firing) for their likelihood of success or failure. Let the fun begin!


  1. Insurers Announce Interoperable PHR Model
  2. My(Medical)Space: Social Networks, Blogs Turn To Health Care
  3. Proposed Legislation Would Implement Quality Reporting System for Physicians
  4. Major U.S. Employers Join to Provide Lifelong Personal Health Records for Employees
  5. Vendor to Offer Web-based EHRs to Docs in Exchange for Data
  6. RHIOs Will Lead Next Phase of NHIN program
  7. Vermont to Announce Statewide
  8. HHS Advances Nationwide Health Information Network Initiative
  9. VA Moves IT Development, Management Under CIO

PR: FreeMED 0.8.3 released by FreeMED Software Foundation

FreeMED 0.8.3, an enterprise-grade opensource electronic medical record / practice management package, has been officially released by the FreeMED Software Foundation. FreeMED‘s website has also been updated to provide a more community oriented portal for information about the software.

Since 1999, we at the FreeMED Software Foundation have worked very hard to provide the open source community with a stable, efficient, and easy to use electronic medical record and practice management system. The past 7 years has seen FreeMED grow and evolve with more features, fewer bugs and improved functionality. FreeMED 0.8.2 saw over 7000 downloads, more than any other edition; FreeMED has continued to get better with each and every release. However the Foundation feels that FreeMED has reached its potential for improvement on the current platform. New advancements in the IT field as well as emerging healthcare standards have forced us to rethink our approach towards the development of new systems and the way they are used in the clinical setting. We at the FreeMED Software Foundation wish to continue to remain on the forefront of the medical informatics field, for this reason we are proud to announce a partnership with Unified Medical Informatics. This partnership has not only given us new insight into the future development of FreeMED, but a visually stunning, user intuitive EMR system that simply must be seen to be believed. Our new platform will continue to support the needs and values of the open source community as well as provide professional and enterprise level modules that can easily be scaled to the needs and size of any healthcare organization.

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