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UK grant for open source healthcare

Early warning system

Published on: 19/04/2019 Last update: 13/06/2019 News Archived

The UK government has awarded a GBP 790,000 (about EUR 990,000) grant to research and implement eObs, an open source digital healthcare observation solution that can identify patients who are deteriorating and alert medical specialists. The solution, which uses information gathered by handheld devices, also helps cut workloads in medical wards by reducing the length of time patients stay and minimising the number of transfers and referrals.

The grant for eObs was announced in late March as part of a GBP 9 million fund to accelerate digital technologies related to health.

The pilot project will run for 19 months, explains OpusVL, the open source IT service provider involved in developing eObs. The first trials are expected in May 2020.

This is a graphic using forms (one shaped like a heart, a cross, a few squares) to show grouping of eObs' custodians

The software solution will use open standards to connect to other hospital systems, and all of the software components, design and documentation will be shared openly, the Rugby-based company says. OpusVL hopes to optimise patient care while lowering licence costs, and wants to create a blueprint for clinician-led open software design.

For the project, OpusVL will work with the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, The Apperta Foundation CIC Trust and Open UK - a UK trade group for open source service providers.

Making eObs open source encourages others to join in and become custodians of the project, explains OpusVL founder Stuart Mackintosh. In addition, open source enables the transfer of scientific knowledge into practical applications.

More information:

Announcement by the UK government
OpenVL blog post