Enterprise Linux Log

Jul 29 2011   5:09PM GMT

Health care systems need open source help

Leah Rosin Leah Rosin Profile: Leah Rosin

PORTLAND, ORE. — Every year I go to OSCON and am amused by the wild hair, impressed with the depth of passion and geekery, and inspired by some really big open source initiatives that people are collaboratively pursuing. This year was no different. There was impressive hair, deeply passionate people, geekery, and a couple of really big, important open source initiatives. The one that struck me as the most important for our collective future, was in the area of health IT.

Fred Trotter introduced the OSCON audience to the Health Internet during his Thursday morning keynote.

Fred Trotter is a consultant and advocate for Free/Libre and Open Source (FOSS) Health Software, and he is the Technology Activist for the Cautious Patient Foundation, an organization focused on helping individuals improve their chance of avoiding medical errors – defined broadly to include misdiagnoses and undertreatment.

At the end of his talk, Trotter asked the OSCON attendees, “What is going to be on the Health Internet?” Because, he explained, it’s up to the open source community to make it happen.

Beyond Trotter’s five-minute keynote, there were quite a few sessions focused on health care IT at OSCON, including one on crowdsourcing clinical trials from the executives at Genomera, a health care collaboration technology company.

I particularly liked (and agreed with) this sentiment from @anomalizer:

“This year’s #oscon has lots of appeals asking geeks to work on healthcare. I concur. Better than getting people to raise virtual carrots.”

So quit working on a fun little game App for Android and get to work developing something that will change how health care works in this country!

For more information on current developments in health IT, commercial and open source, visit SearchHealthIT.com

Check out more Linux news at SearchEnterpriseLinux.com, and follow us on Twitter @LinuxTT.

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