Open Source Health Care Alliance 2: NHS Stream

The second Open Source Healthcare Alliance (OSCHA) meeting, held in London at the beginning of September 2001, discussed applications for open source software development methods in the NHS in Britain. This page indexes transcripts of the five talks we heard in a programme put together by Colin Smith and chaired by Adrian Midgley. If you've only got time to read one thing, my article for LinuxUser gives my take on the whole session.

I kicked off with a whistlestop review of currently extant open source healthcare projects. There is indeed a wealth of software already out there, but little horizontal connection between projects, and information about the success (or otherwise) of currently extant implementations at clinical level is sparse. And there's a table of links to the projects I looked at.

Mark Richards, the IT director of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford presented his side of the INFOSTAT recovery story already well known to the open source health community from the account of porting it to Linux that took place at the Walton Centre in Liverpool.

Jeremy Rogers gave us his take on the intelligent medical records. In his view, such records will be impossible to create without widespread adoption of open source development methods of the termsets, ontologies, and knowledge bases that such systems will comprise.

Julian Todd is an IT manager at the Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust, who has long held the view that the NHS should create a repository of software objects for localisation by each NHS organisation. That the code of such a repository should be open source is a no-brainer for him.

Ray Henry's talk on licensing issues was a real eye opener. He's head of informatics for the Public Health Laboratory Service in Wales. His team developed a useful application that could benefit the whole NHS. They wanted to release it under the GPL, but significant organisational and legal obstacles were encountered.

Copyright Douglas Carnall 2001. You may reproduce this page in any medium provided this copyright notice is also maintained. All talks recorded, transcribed, and lightly edited by Douglas Carnall:

Index | Carnall | OS projects | Richards | Rogers | Todd | Henry