OHNews Weekly Summary 11/2/2013

November 2, 2013 - The following is a brief listing of some of the hot news items, selected news clips, feature stories, and blogs posted on Open Health News (OHNews) over the past week that we believe will be of interest to our readers across the U.S. and around the world. We've also included links to some upcoming open source and health IT conferences and events.

Some of the key themes dominating the news this week involved: (1) Continuing problems with the rollout of the national Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX) on HealthCare.gov; (2) Numerous news clips about Open Access Week activities; and (3) news about a wide range of innovative 'Open Health' activity and solutions from around the world.

Roger Maduro

Publisher & Managing Editor, Open Health News



OHN News, Features & Blog Posts

Selected News Clips

Brief Abstracts of Selected News Stories

Expect an Upcoming Shake-up of Health IT Vendors in the Marketplace

Medical Economics just published their report listing the "The Top 100 EHR Companies in 2013".  It makes for very interesting reading. According to the report, best estimates by the government currently show over 700 companies that now offer 'certified' electronic health record (EHR) systems to healthcare providers. These companies range from publically-traded software companies to start-up enterprises - and everything in between. However, the future viability of these vendors and their EHR systems has become an issue. 'Open source' EHR alternatives may offer a low risk alternative to many of proprietary vendors on the list. Read More »

'Open Source' VistA Installations in Louisiana and other Mississippi Basin states

The installation and use of 'open source' electronic health record (EHR) systems has continued to spread across the U.S., including many of the states that border the Mississippi River. For example, see the following map of healthcare facilities running some variant of the open source world renowned VistA electronic health record (EHR) system. For the past year, Open Health News (OHN) has been working hard assembling data on VistA users around the world. The results will be released shortly in a Special Report aptly titled "VistA: The EHR of Record". Read More »

McKinsey Global Institute Report on Unlocking the Value of 'Open Data'

The McKinsey Global Institute has just release a new report entitled, "Open data: Unlocking innovation and performance with liquid information." According to the report, 'Open Data' has great potential to empower citizens, change how government works, and improve the delivery of public services. It may also generate significant economic value, according to a new McKinsey report. Their report suggests that 'Open Data' can help unlock $3 trillion to $5 trillion in economic value annually across seven sectors of the global economy. Read More »

Sunlight Foundation helps shine a light on Obamacare Contractors

According to a recent article posted on the Sunlight Foundation web site, they recently reviewed contract award information from USASpending.gov and FedBizOpps.gov, and found 47 organizations that won contracts from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or the Treasury Department to manage, support or service the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Among them were top contractors like Northrop Grumman, Deloitte LLP, SAIC Inc., General Dynamics, CGI Group, and Booz Allen Hamilton. Read More »

Finding Financial Investors for new 'Open Source' Health IT Companies

This short article is meant to provide a high level overview and guidance about the major stages of financing new companies go through as they mature. This includes companies offering products or services in the 'Open Health' arena such as open source software, open data, open access, and open hardware solutions. Read More »

Have you tried a MicroPC-on-a-Stick?

Do you call it a Miniature PC, MiniPC, MicroPC, Matchbox PC, NetTop PC, or what? My favorite is MicroPC-on-a-Stick. Whatever popular name finally sticks, the MicroPC is starting to slowly make its mark. Read More »

Jamaica Ministry of Health adopts GNU Health

Gaby Brenes | EU Joinup | October 26, 2013

In cooperation with the Ministry of Health (MoH), a group mission of GNU Solidario visited Jamaica and inaugurated officially the project of deploying GNU Health within their Public Health Care system. Read More »

The Halloween Documents: Microsoft's Anti-Linux Strategy 15 Years Later

Christopher Tozzi | The VAR Guy | October 30, 2013

 It's almost Halloween—which marks 15 years since Eric S. Raymond published the first leaked "Halloween Documents" documenting Microsoft's (MSFT) secret strategy to compete with Linux and open source... Read More »

Top tech experts from Google, Red Hat, Oracle sent to save ObamaCare website

Barnini Chakraborty | FoxsNews.com | October 31, 2013

An A-Team of tech experts is being brought in to help the Obama administration iron out the cyber wrinkles associated with the rocky roll out of the Affordable Care Act. Read More »

NY State to Publish More Hospital Charge Data

David Raths | Healthcare Informatics | October 31, 2013

New York State ...plans to publish on its web site hospital charge data for 1,400 conditions in the State. Read More »

How Congress Is Aiming To Defang Patent Trolls

Tim Fernholz | Quartz | October 24, 2013

A new bill in the US Congress is aimed at curbing firms that buy patents and use them aggressively to extract licensing fees—a.k.a. patent trolls. Read More »

Toolkit Designed To Make Biomedical Data Exploration Easier

Susan D. Hall | FierceHealthIT | October 18, 2013

Researchers have developed an open-source platform for creating software applications that make complex data understandable and accessible to those without sophisticated informatics expertise. Read More »

U.S. mobile health audience jumps to 95 million adults

Press Release | Manhattan Research | October 24, 2013

The number of Americans using mobile phones for health information or tools reached 95 million in 2013 Read More »

Petition Launched To Get The White House To Open Source Healthcare.gov Code

Mike Masnick | Techdirt | October 21, 2013

After the disastrous technological launch of the healthcare.gov website, built by political cronies rather than companies who understand the internet, there has been plenty of discussion as to why the code wasn't open sourced. [...] And, now, a "We the People..." petition has been launched, asking the White House to open source the code to Healthcare.gov... Read More »

Canada May Be Nearing The Open Access "Tipping Point"

Michael Geist | Michael Geist | October 24, 2013

[...] While it has captured limited attention outside of educational circles, the Internet has facilitated the emergence of open access publishing of research, transforming the multi-billion dollar academic publishing industry and making millions of articles freely accessible to a global audience. Read More »

Contractors Who Built Healthcare.gov Website Blame Each Other For All The Problems

Mike Masnick | Techdirt | October 24, 2013

With all the problems associated with the Healthcare.gov rollout, a bunch of fingers (including ours) pointed at the usual list of government contracting cronies who built the thing. The deal was done under an existing contract (so no open bidding) and involved the same "usual suspects" who have been connected to a number of other large government computer systems debacles... Read More »

AHIMA announces support for Blue Button Initiative

Diana Manos | Government Health IT | October 28, 2013

The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) announced on Monday that it will embark on a campaign to encourage its Component State Associations and members to actively support the Blue Button Initiative to promote access to personal health records (PHRs). The announcement was made at AHIMA’s 85th Annual Convention and Exhibit in Atlanta. Read More »

Tech Experts: Health Exchange Site Needs Total Overhaul

Kelly Kennedy | USA Today | October 17, 2013

The federal health care exchange was built using 10-year-old technology that may require constant fixes and updates for the next six months and the eventual overhaul of the entire system, technology experts told USA TODAY. Read More »