Category Archives: IMIA/AMIA

IMIA Open Source Group to co-sponsor LMN Award

The International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) will be co-sponsoring the Linux Medical News Freedom Award to be given at this years American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Open Source Working Group meeting on Monday November 13th at the Hilton Washington Towers in Washington, D.C. United States: “We are pleased to announce that, as from this year, the Open Source Health Informatics Working Group (OSWG) of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) will co-sponsor the Annual Linux Medical News Freedom Award.” Read more for the full announcement. Note that the Linux Medical News Freedom Award is not an officially sponsored award of AMIA but it should be.

Continue reading

AMIA oswg releases Open Source EHR Review

The American Medical Informatics Association Open Source Working Group is presenting Review of Open Source Electronic Health Records (EHR). This review will cover the top Open Source projects that posses Medical Practice Management, Medical Billing Software, and Electronic Health Records. To start with, three systems will be evaluated; MirrorMed/ClearHealth, FreeMED and OpenEMR.

Continue reading

Free/libre and open source at MIE2005

Members of the IMIA Open Source Working Group and IMIA-NI Open Source Nursing Informatics Working Group (OSNI) have been successful in having several submissions accepted for MIE2005 (the XIX International Congress of the European Federation for Medical Informatics).

There will be a tutorial on open source and health informatics, a paper about the OSNI groups’ use of open source tools, and workshop to explore the need (or otherwise) for a European/EFMI Working Group to complement the IMIA and AMIA groups and give a specific European dimension.

Continue reading

F/OSS and MIE2005

The IMIA Open Source Working Group is exploring the idea of a working conference and/or F/OSS ‘summit’ to be held in conjunction with MIE2005 in Geneva 28 August – 1 September 2005. We would probably be looking at approx. 2-3 Sept. for the meeting. See the main body (below) for encouragement to submit for MIE2005.
If you would be interested, in principle, in attending such a meeting, please let me know – on The structure is very fluid at present – we want to know if it is worth putting in the effort to organise.

Continue reading

Open source at medinfo2004

The joint meeting of the IMIA, IMIA-NI and AMIA Open Source Working Groups was held yesterday, 8 September, at medinfo2004. We had a good attendance (40-50 people), with presentations on the 3 groups and then a discussion and session of interactive digital voting.

Tim Cook, myself, Graham Wright, Karl Oyri, Pat Evans were joined by Larry Ozeran, Will Ross, and many others for a lively discussion of open source issues and how things might be taken forward by the Working Groups.

A flavour of the event is at:

Peter Murray, Chair, IMIA OSWG

NHII Tutorial

[NHII Pre-Conference Report]

Tuesday evening July 20th, 2004, the day before the NHII “Cornerstones for Electronic Healthcare” conference at the Washington DC Convention Center, William Yasnoff, MD, PhD, provided a two hour tutorial on the National Health Information Infrastructure (NHII). Dr. Yasnoff is Senior Advisor to the NHII project at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Continue reading

Open Steps – open source and health informatics thinktank report now available

The report of the Open Steps thinktank meeting of February 2004, held at the Marwell Hotel, Winchester, UK is now available via the website of the Open Source Health Informatics Working Group of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA OSWG), at

We welcome input from all in the health and health informatics communities interested in free, libre and open source software, including GNU/Linux.
There is a Wiki available at courtesy of Dr Adrian Midgley, or responses can be sent by email to

Dr Peter J. Murray
Project Leader, Open Steps
Co-chair, IMIA OSWG �
Chair, IMIA-NI Open Source Nursing Informatics Working Group �

The main purpose of the Marwell Open Steps meeting was

– to identify key issues, opportunities, obstacles, areas of work and research that may be needed, and other relevant aspects, around the potential for using open source software, solutions and approaches within health care, and in particular within health informatics, in the UK and Europe.

Three quarters of participants described their ‘ideal vision for the future use of software in healthcare’ as containing at least a significant percentage of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS), with nearly one third wanting to see it ‘entirely open source’.

The emergence of a situation wherein FLOSS could interface with proprietary software within the healthcare domain was seen to be achievable and desirable, and also likely if the right drivers were put in place and barriers addressed. Participants felt that the strongest drivers were:

� adoption and use of the right standards;
� the development of a FLOSS ‘killer application’;
� a political mandate towards the use of FLOSS; and
� producing positive case studies comparing financial benefits of FLOSS budget reductions.

The Marwell event was the first in a series of meetings planned by the IMIA OSWG and held in conjunction with the British Computer Society Health Informatics Committee and other groups. Most participants were from the UK, although others were from The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Belgium and North America.

Participants rated the most important issues why people do and might use FLOSS within the health domain as quality, stability and robustness of software and data, as well as long-term availability of important health data through not being locked up in proprietary systems that do not allow interoperability and data migration. They felt that the two most important areas for FLOSS activity by IMIA OSWG and other FLOSS groups were ‘political’ activity and work on raising awareness among healthcare workers and the wider public.

‘The aim of the Marwell meeting was to identify the issues, not necessarily answer them’ said Dr Peter Murray, the Open Steps project leader. ‘We hope to see wide discussion within the health informatics and open source communities. We know there will be other issues that some will see as more important � we welcome constructive dialogue and hope that many groups will work together to build on what is a small first step.’

The Marwell Open Steps meeting was organised and supported by the following organisations:
�IMIA Open Source Working Group (IMIA OSWG �
�British Computer Society Health Informatics Committee (BCS HIC �
�IMIA Special Interest Group on Nursing Informatics, Open Source Nursing Informatics Working Group (IMIA-NI OSNI �
�Open Source Health Care Alliance (OSHCA �
�Peak Performance (

For further information:

– see the website for the report in html, pdf and versions –
– direct link at

– email

Open source at medinfo2004

Members of the AMIA OSWG, IMIA OSWG and IMIA-NI OSNI WG are involved in several presentations at medinfo2004 ( in San Francisco in September.

There will be:
– a workshop ‘Open Source and Nursing Informatics: What are the Priorities’ on Thursday, 9 September, 19.30 – 22.00
– a tutorial ‘Open Source and Free Software: the Potential for Applying Open Source Solutions to Health Informatics Problems in Education, Research and Practice’ on Tuesday, 7 September, 13.00 – 16.30
– a joint IMIA Open Source Health Informatics Working Group, IMIA Nursing Informatics Special Interest Group Open Source Working Group and AMIA Open Source Working Group Business Meeting Wednesday 8 SDeptember, 15:30 – 18:30
– AMIA Open Source Working Group Special Inaugural Presentation Friday 10 September, 11:30 – 13:00

The programme also lists 16 other open source papers, posters, tutorials and demos.

Peter J. Murray, Chair IMIA-NI OSNI WG

Open Source Observatory

The Open Source Observatory ‘is intended to encourage the spread and use of Best Practices in Europe’, according to its
While not primarily health-related, it may help to address one of the issues that was identified as a potential driver for open source (ie the availability of case studies) at the recent IMIA/British Computer Society Health Informatics Committee thinktank meeting (Marwell, UK, February 2004). The need for such resources is an issue that has surfaced in a number of disucssions in recent months – there may be a case for trying to work with the resource, rather than reinvent it.
The Observatory is provided by the European Commission.