Open Source Software and Linux

Oct 17 2008   11:46PM GMT

Chalk one up for Linux and Health Care

John Little Profile: Xjlittle

When it comes to health care it always seems as though it and Linux have a strange relationship. Doctors tend to purchase software without any thought to cost or licensing. The generally leads them into a one-size-fits-all solution and they just deal with the shortcomings of the software or go and buy another one-size-fits all solution to cover the shortcomings. And so begins the “Endless Circle” of purchasing software, licensing and annual maintenance costs.

Now enter CRIX International (The Clinical Research Information Exchange), Red Hat, Alfresco and JBoss.

CRIX is a not-for-profit collaborative consortium that includes government agencies, members of the bio-pharmaceutical industry, academic researchers, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders in development of new drug therapies. Typically pharmaceutical research is slow and expensive. There is a tremendous amount of research data that has to get passed from company to company, including the FDA.

CRIX chose to use Red Hat, JBoss and Alfresco to make collaboration easier, faster and less expensive between all of the consortium members. Now as soon as a document is submitted all interested parties in the consortium have access to the information. If suggestions or editing ned to be made or done they are done very quickly and without having to send paper, cdrom’s or attachments by email to all of the parties. Alfresco’s software takes care of the version control. Alfesco is the perfect choice for this project since it is compatible with all major software suites including Microsoft Office. If you are a Windows user you can still use shared drives.

The benefits of this marriage

Will enable previously unmatched levels of collaboration among pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, academic institutions, and health care providers to make the drug development, testing, and approval process more secure and efficient while reducing costs and safeguarding the safety of the end consumer

The software that they developed became known as the CRIX Collaborative Platform. The CRIX Collaborative Platform was developed using Red Hat, Alfresco ECM and several components of the JBoss middleware. The reason for this is simple. It allows participants in the project and ISV’s to create whatever components or plugins they need to enhance the software for their particular use or need. Remember the “Endless Circle” above? Over and done with. Kaput. History. With the “Endless Circle” no longer in play now it is quicker and considerably less expensive to bring a drug to market.

Kudo’s to the folks at CRIX, Red Hat and Alfresco for making this happen. Anyone in the medical field should pay attention to this type of solution. It will pay huge dividends in the future. Not only will you get software that does exactly what you want, at a free to low cost, if your needs change you can recode the software meet those changing needs.

References: here


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