Software projects in health care would benefit from increased collaboration, using open source, exchanging know-how and open documentation, say experts from IsfTeH, International Society for Telemedicine and eHealth. “Most important is the sharing of best practices, but reusing common software components also reduces costs”, the experts say.
“There are excellent tools and projects in the domain of Free/Libre Open Source Software for Health Care”, the experts say, “but their impact so far is limited. That would change if they banded together to form an ecosystem.”
The experts, Thomas Karopka, Monika Hubler and Etienne Saliez are promoting the use of free and open source software in healthcare. Since 2013, they have been involved in the organisation of the ‘Open Source Village’, part of the annual Medetel eHealth conference in Luxembourg.
At this year’s conference on 22 April, they they reviewed a handful of open source eHealth solutions. “It was not an official presentation”, MD Saliez says. “We talked about a few of the more well-known open source projects, including hospital information project GNU/Health, the OSCAR Electronic Medical Record system and the Ipath telemedicine solution.
Descriptions of over 300 open source software solutions is available at the Medfloss website.
“If projects including these would work together, that would help responding to the needs of users, could spur modular development and increase possibilities for financing and funding”, Saliez says. “They need to use the power of networking, working together on capacity building, education and dissemination.”