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Open source patient task list wins UK Health service hackathon

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Patient List, a software application making it easier for doctors to hand over patients, has won the NHS Hack Day 2012 which took place in London last weekend. The application is made available as open source.

On 26 and 27 May some 120 attendees, including software developers and health care specialists worked together to create health care solutions to solve some of the daily problems of the UK's health care system.

The event organiser, Dr Carl Reynolds, provided links to publicly available datasets and listed relevant application programming interfaces. In two days, no less than fourteen applications were submitted to a panel of experts.

The winning application, Patient List, uses the standardised electronic patient records from a hospital, to provide doctors with a list of their patients and allowing them to create to-do lists and to update patient care records.

In a report on the Hackathon the publication eHealth Insider quotes Sir Liam Donaldson, former chief medical officer for England, who says that Patient List could help "correct some of the problems that currently occur in the NHS."

Patient List's source code is made available on Github. It is currently available under the MIT open source licence. This could change, suggests Rob Dyke, from open source healthcare IT service company Tactix4, one of the developers. "We are still discussing it. I expect the licence to be towards the permissive end of the spectrum."

eHealth Insider writes that if the jury had been made up of the attending software developers, the winner would have been 'Mobile Formulary'. This application scrapes data from the British National Formulary website. It republishes this data, making access easier and saving general practitioners 60 GBP (about 75 euro) a year for accessing the data through the Formulary site.

David Miller, one of the developers working on Mobile Formular says that the group has not yet discussed licences. "The code will almost certainly be a permissive open source license. But the core data driving our application is subject to various copyright protections."

More information:
Patient List
Mobile Formulary
NHS Hack Day 2012 Wiki
ehealth insider news item
ehealth insider news item

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Geographic coverage:
United Kingdom
Themes:
Communications