I was wrong about Medsphere’s release

Its not often that I have to admit to being completley wrong about whats coming in FOSS medical software. I pride myself somewhat on being in-the-loop. However, I was wrong about what kind of release Medpshere would be doing. If simple confessions are not an interesting read for you, then you might be interested in my analysis of Medsphere’s new badgeware license, as well as discussion on the implications of the release.

Fred Trotter

Medsphere Releases Community Editions of OpenVista� EHR Platform

More major news from the 2007 HIMSS conference: ‘NEW ORLEANS, LA (HIMSS07 Conference, February 26, 2007) – Medsphere Systems Corporation today announced the release of the source code for its OpenVista� electronic health record (EHR) platform in new server and client-side community editions. OpenVista is a commercial implementation of the highly regarded VistA EHR system developed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. The announcement marks the launch of Medsphere’s efforts to coalesce an open source community around its platform and accelerate EHR adoptions by providing a low-cost VistA-based alternative with opportunities for collaborative development…’ Medsphere has also seemed to have launched medsphere.org as well as released to sourceforge with a GPL license.

HIMSS Update: Red Hat and McKesson Offer ‘Enterprise Healthcare Platform’

More signs of legitimacy of FOSS in medicine with this press release: ‘McKesson has joined with Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, to introduce the Red Hat Enterprise Healthcare Platform, a cost-effective open source information technology (IT) solution with services designed to meet the mission-critical demands of healthcare.

�The Red Hat solution offers our customers a reliable, affordable platform for delivering safe, high-quality patient care using McKesson�s clinical applications,� said Michael J. Simpson, chief technology officer for McKesson Provider Technologies. �The introduction of a high-value, open platform designed specifically for the needs of healthcare IT represents a major step forward in encouraging the use of open source technologies instead of closed, proprietary technologies that are costly to acquire, maintain and scale.�


Mirth is shaping up as an ‘Open Source HL7 Integration Engine’. After recently downloading the product I was extremely pleased to successfully read an HL7 message from disk, manipulate it and send the output XML to a file. I then repeated the process inserting selected fields into a database table.

Mirth is located at http://www.mirthproject.org and the tutorial which stepped me through the above exercise is here: http://www.mirthproject.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45&Itemid=81

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Live from the 2007 pyCon in Dallas, Texas

Python is a unique programming language that is widely used in places like Google, NASA and many other companies for mission critical applications. I’m reporting from the 2007 Python convention pyCon in search of healthcare possibilities. I’m finding some but it seems as though straight Electronic Medical Record work has gone dormant. Tim Cook’s efforts with FreePM which is now TORCH and Andrew Ho’s work with Zope and OIO are the only examples that come to mind but it doesn’t appear that Python has significant EMR software. That does not appear to be the case with PHP/MySQL which has a thriving community. Why?

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openEMR Successfully Completes IHE Connectathon Testing

The Possibility Forge and Mandriva successfully completed the testing requirements for openEMR at the 2007 IHE Connectathon in North America. To connect and share information openEMR uses IBM’s Open Healthcare Framework (�OHF�). The Possibility Forge and Mandriva, using OHF, represent openEMR, the first open source electronic medical record system to participate, and successfully complete the interoperability standards at the IHE Connectathon.
The IHE Connectathon is a health care industry collaboration event, where the IHE constructs independent testing to validate and verify vendors claims of interoperability. The IHE Connectathon consists of pre-tests for participation eligibility and four days of rigorous testing. openEMR successfully completed the Connectathon testing with the second highest number of successfully completed tests among all 140 participants, and the highest for an open source electronic medical record. Participants at the 2007 IHE Connectathon include: Cerner Corporation, Epic Systems Corporation, GE Healthcare, IBM, McKesson Information Solutions, and Toshiba Medical Systems, among others.

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Ask LMN: Fred Trotter talks to Jonathan Bush

Fred Trotter (me) has just won the bidding for the Histalk sponsored Beers with Bush at HIMSS07. As a result I get to talk to Jonathan Bush the CEO of athenahealth.

As you can imagine, I will be talking to him about FreeB and FOSS medical software generally, but what else should I ask him?

Slashdot style, if you will post a question for Jonathan Bush as a comment on this Linux Medical News story, and I arbitrarily decide that I like the question (since there is no meta-moderation here) I will ask him your question over drinks.

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OpenSource medical spelling word list released

OpenMedSpel is a open source medical spelling word list that is released under a GPL license. OpenMedSpel was derived from the word lists complied for MedSpel, a shareware medical spelling tool for Microsoft Word. OpenMedSpel is currently available in USA English. Other languages and localizations may be released in the future. OpenMedSpel has been adapted to work on the Mozilla Tunderbird email client and the OpenOffice.org office suite. OpenMedSpel can be adapted for many other programs as well. OpenMedSpel can be downloaded from

Cybernetics Oriented Programming (CYBOP) Book

After five years, I finally managed to put my
ideas into a book, which I would like to
announce to the developers of the medical
software community, because I was greatly
influenced by their discussions. More information about the book can be found here

Many years ago, I started coding on the
open source project, at that time in Java.

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GPL Medicine: What Medsphere Will Try Next

Fred Trotter on GPLMedicine writes: ‘…Medsphere will release a version of “VistA” under an open source license. The license will probably not be the GPL, since that would mean that they might later have trouble interfacing that code with proprietary modules they might release. Medspheres �release� will be at least 90% standard VistA. Medsphere will take something that is public domain and put it under a FOSS license and say “See, we are open source!!”. They will point to minor improvements (or merely changes) and say, �see we have contributed to the community!� However when a real VistA mumpster takes a look at the release, they will be underwhelmed…’