Tag Archives: Medicine

Barriers to FOSS Adoption in Quebec and elsewhere?


G. Paré et al. published in Februar 2009 an insightful article about the “Barriers to Open Source Software Adoption in Quebec’s Health Care Organizations” (PDF) in the Journal of Medical Systems. Their abstract reads like this:

“We conducted in-depth interviews with 15 CIOs to identify the principal impediments to adoption of open source software in the Quebec health sector. We found that key factors for not adopting an open source solution were closely linked to the orientations of ministry level policy makers and a seeming lack of information on the part of operational level IT managers concerning commercially oriented open source providers. We use the case of recent changes in the structure of Quebec’s health care organizations and a change in the commercial policies of a key vendor to illustrate our conclusions regarding barriers to adoption of open source products.”

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Freemedsw – Most popular projects

Doctor Tux

As freemedsw.apfelkraut.org is now online for more than a year (anniversary 2008/01/12), it is time for a first ranking of the most popular Open Source projects for the health care sector.

Meanwhile 115 active projects are listed and I still (!) appreciate your help in case you find a broken link, incorrect information or you just have improvement suggestions. Please send me a message or leave a comment at this post. You can submit change requests or new projects via a form which is available here.

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Some numbers about FOSS in health care

Adoption of FOSS in health care seems to be spreading more and more. Still it is hard to catch sight of some concrete numbers, giving a detailed insight into the actual utilization of FOSS applications in health care.

On the 4th of December the AMIA Open Source Working Group (OS-WG) has released a white paper examining the benefits of FOSS in health care. It is titled “Free and Open Source Software in Healthcare 1.0” and freely available for download. The main author is Ignacio Valdes (chairman of the AMIA OS-WG) who is also the admin of LinuxMedNews.

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Open Source im Gesundheitswesen


Dieser Blog-Eintrag ist auch in leicht gekürzter Form in der aktuellen Ausgabe 06/2008 des Fachmagazins für Gesundheitstelematik, Telemedizin und Health-IT E-HEALTH-COM erschienen (PDF Version des Artikels).

Open Source Initiative Logo Die Entwicklung der letzten Jahre zeigt, dass sich Open Source Programme einer immer größeren Beliebtheit erfreuen, und das in den unterschiedlichsten Anwendungsgebieten. Ein bekanntes Beispiel ist das LiMux Projekt der Stadt München, in dessen Rahmen insgesamt 14.000 Arbeitsplatzrechner der Stadtverwaltung mit freier Software ausgestattet werden sollen. Mit Stand Juli 2008 war auf 1.200 Arbeitsplätzen das quelloffene Betriebssystem Linux installiert und auf ca. 8.000 Rechner wurde die kommerzielle Microsoft Office Suite durch deren Open Source Pedant OpenOffice.org ersetzt. Die Open Source Programme Firefox (Web Browser) und Thunderbird (eMail-Client) werden bereits auf allen Arbeitsplätzen eingesetzt. Insgesamt zeigt dies, dass Open Source Software (OSS) unterdessen nicht mehr nur für rein unterstützende Aufgaben im Hintergrund herangezogen wird, wie beispielsweise der Apache Web Server oder Scripting Sprachen wie Perl, Python oder Ruby. Vielmehr hält OSS Einzug auch bei klassischen Desktop-Anwendungen, die bislang durch proprietärer Software kommerzieller Hersteller dominiert wurden.

Im Gesundheitswesen sieht es ähnlich aus, wobei der Markt in diesem Bereich nach wie vor stark von proprietären Anwendungen beherrscht wird und die Nutzer dort der Open Source Bewegung eher kritisch gegenüber stehen. Dieser Artikel soll eine Übersicht über die Vor- und Nachteile von Open Source Anwendungen im Medizinumfeld geben, Initiativen aufzeigen, die sich speziell in und für diesen Bereich gebildet haben. Abschließend werden zwei OSS Projekte vorgestellt, die bereits in vielen Gesundheitseinrichtungen zum Einsatz kommen.

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The first Open Source ultrasound system?

SSI Aixplorer

As Vincent reported in his post “Medical GNOME“, the French company SuperSonic Imagine (founded in 2005) just announced its next-generation ultrasound system for breast lesion imaging that will come with mostly Open Source software components.

The new system is called Aixplorer™. According to the message of N. Bruguier in the GNOME Desktop Development List it is based upon a derivative of Ubuntu. Beside GNOME/GTK the Cairo graphics library and the Cairo Composite Manager are utilized for its GUI.

Their customized packages and patches are available via Launchpad.

Very nice! But when browsing through the product brochure it seems that the utilization of Open Source software still seems not to be a viable marketing argument.

Open Source at Med-e-Tel 2008


From the 16th until the 18th of April 2008 Med-e-Tel, the international educational and networking forum for eHealth, Telemedicine and Health ICT will take place at the Luxexpo in Luxembourg.

Beside various other interesting events, a workshop about Facilitating Collaboration to Facilitate Tele-Success will be held on Friday 18th of April and is split into four different sessions:

  • From the Bottom Up: Designing from the User Perspective (Bill Parlette, iPath Association, Switzerland)
  • What Else Is Going On? Building a Project Database (Holger Schmuhl, apfelkraut.org, Germany)
  • Practical Considerations: Infrastructure, Links and Tools (Erik Blantz, INVENEO, USA)
  • Price-Performance via Open Source Tools (Dr. Etienne Saliez, VCT-TK, Belgium)

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Update: Overview of free medical software

Doctor Tux

After one week I performed today a major update of the overview of open source software for the health care sector at freemedsw.apfelkraut.org.

Meanwhile more than 70 FOSS projects are listed and counting … According to the number of visits per day there seems to be at least some interest in this overview (Wed: 40, Thu: 120, Fri: 270, Sa: 130 visits). Thank you!

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