Quote Of The Year

Timeless Quotes - Sadly The Late Paul Shetler - "Its not Your Health Record it's a Government Record Of Your Health Information"


H. L. Mencken - "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Open Source Starts to Bite in e-Health

It seems not a month can go past without major open-source news in the e-Health space.

The most recent appeared a few days ago.


Open eHealth Foundation Defines Development Priorities

Open eHealth Foundation Now an Official Nonprofit Organization - Board of Directors and President Elected - Development Priorities Defined

Last update: 1:15 p.m. EDT July 24, 2008

WAYNE, Pa. and WALLDORF, Germany, July 24, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Open eHealth Foundation (OeHF), an open source initiative for the efficient exchange of medical information based on existing standards, is officially registered as a nonprofit organization in Delaware. This milestone enables the foundation (which was launched at HIMSS 2008 by Agfa HealthCare, InterComponentWare and Sun Microsystems) to begin operations.

Board of Directors and President Elected

As the OeHF's first Chairman of the Board, the foundation members elected Lindsy Strait from Sun Microsystems. Additional board members include Thomas Liebscher, InterComponentWare, and Evgueni Loukipoudis, Agfa HealthCare. As Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Loukipoudis will be responsible for the architecture as well as the interoperability of software components developed by the OeHF.

Alexander Ihls was appointed OEHF's President and also acts as Chief Business Development Officer (CBDO). In this function, he is directing the foundation's orientation and is responsible for the acquisition of new partners and members. Richard Golden assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) for the foundation and will be responsible for setting up the infrastructure and the organization of development projects.

Development Priorities Defined

The OeHF will use existing IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) profiles as a guideline for its development activities. All the OeHF service components will be designed flexibly, will offer IHE compliant functionality, and will be usable in national initiatives such as the Canada Health Infoway or the Fraunhofer electronic case record in Germany.

The OeHF has prioritized the initial IHE profiles, which will be given priority for being implemented as open source components. Initially, actors from the IHE PIX/PDQ (Patient Identifier Cross Referencing / Patient Demographics Query) profile (and related profiles) will be implemented. The development work for these components has already started. The results will be presented at HIMSS 2009 in Chicago to the general public.

Open Membership

The OeHF is open for additional members interested in participating in the community. Visit www.openehealth.org for additional information.

About Open eHealth Foundation

Open eHealth Foundation (OeHF), launched at HIMSS 08, uses existing open source projects for developing a platform on which its members and other providers can create open source components that are made available free of charge, including reference implementations to obtain high semantic interoperability based on open standards. Open eHealth Foundation will not develop any new interoperability standards, but teams up with the existing standardization organizations to implement already defined standards in its open source components, and to provide reference implementations for these standards.

All your questions on this new initiative are answered here.


This follows relatively hard on the heels of other recent announcements.

Of considerable importance is the Open Health Tools Initiative which can be found here.


The list of partners is very impressive.

OHT Inaugural Members

OHT is a collaborative organization comprised of the following standards organizations, academia, national health systems, the open source community, vendors and IT professionals:

Government agencies in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia striving to provide healthcare professionals with rapid access to accurate and complete patient information, enabling better decisions about treatment and diagnosis:

  • Canada Health Infoway, Inc.
  • National e-Health Transition Authority (Australia)
  • National Health Service, Connecting for Health (United Kingdom)
  • Veterans Health Administration (United States)

Health standards agencies providing open, neutral, international standards for the effort:

  • Health Level 7
  • Healthcare Services Specification Project
  • International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation
  • Object Management Group

Academia and research:

  • Linkoping University
  • Oregon State University, Open Source Lab
  • Mohawk College

Vendors and open source organizations providing compelling medical software, services and equipment solutions:

  • B2 International
  • BT
  • CollabNet
  • Eclipse
  • IBM
  • Innoopract
  • Inpriva
  • JP Systems
  • Kestral
  • NexJ Systems
  • Ocean Informatics
  • Oracle
  • Ozmosis
  • Palamida
  • Red Hat

Also impressive are the contributions made or planned from the UK NHS and the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO) (see July 17, 2008 announcement)

It seems to me what we have here are substantive moves towards a much more open e-Health future.

All this, of course builds on the work of others involved in such areas as openEHR (http://www.openehr.org/home.html) the OpenMRS (http://openmrs.org/wiki/OpenMRS) and a large range of others.

There is even some activity in Australia! See http://code.google.com/p/wedgetail/

For those with an interest there is a reasonably active e-mail discussion group.

List infolist openhealth@yahoogroups.com

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This is clearly an area to close eye on.



Anonymous said...

Yep - it's been such a long time coming and its got such a long way to go that your final comment i very close to the mark:
.... "This is clearly an area to close eye on."

Are we to presume you mean close one eye - keep the other open 'just-in-case'!

Trevor3130 said...

Dave Birch on Identity Management:
What are differences between the proposed German identity card and the proposed UK identity card? Well, for one thing we already know how the German card will work and what applications it will contain. In fact it will contain three: the ePass application for police and border control, the opt-out eID application for e-business and e-government and the opt-in eSignature application.
(There is a side-bar on Birch's page where he logs, in real time, the incoming hits. Someone watching what I am doing - creepy!)
Maybe someone knows how much of the German IM work is being developed on FOSS.