July 15, 2010

Electronic Medical Records: Let's Leave Room For Open Source

After years of talk about taking medical records online, serious action is afoot. The Obama administration is waving $27 billion in incentives at doctors and medical offices to take records online, Verizon is touting its Health Information Exchange as a cloud-based way for records to be shared, and Google has a pilot project focused on electronic medical records, too. Will there be room for open source software solutions as the transition to electronic records begins in earnest?

A huge part of the historical problem in getting medical records online is that the many mom-and-pop shop medical practices and offices just haven't bought in. As far as large medical institutions go, the Verizons, Googles, Oracles and IBMs of the world are likely to have a lot of sway with them in taking records online. But the open source community has kept its eyes on contributing, and let's hope that it does.

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