Open Health Tools Forges Ahead to Bring Open Source to Health IT

Lora Bentley

An international panel of software experts has outlined the next steps for the Open Health Tools initiative, according to iHealthBeat. Government agencies and corporate representatives -- including software providers, health care companies, insurance companies and standards bodies -- from the U.S., the UK, Australia and Canada are involved in the project.


The Open Health Tools Web site indicates it is a project in which health and IT professionals work together to "build interoperable systems that enable patients and their care providers to have access to vital and reliable medical information at the time and place it is needed."


If the project reaches its goals, organizations seeking to follow Orlando's Florida Hospital in migrating to an open source infrastructure will have more support and -- theoretically -- the transition will not be as difficult or take as long. However, as health care and software development consultant Walter Sujanski told iHealthBeat, open source still has its obstacles, not the least of which is its dependence on volunteer developers.

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