Open Health News (OHN) Weekly Summary - December 8, 2013

December 8, 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:

  • Health IT news and activities related to various federal and state governments across the U.S.
  • Latest updates on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the national Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX) on;
  • Ongoing news about a wide range of innovative 'Open Health' activity and solutions from across the U.S. and 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


VA Marks the 10-Year Anniversary of the 'My HealtheVet' PHR System

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the award-winning My HealtheVet system, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is urging all military veterans and active-duty service members to join the millions of others already using this online Personal Health Record (PHR) system. The VA is marking this milestone by asking everyone to help spread the word about the benefits of using My HealtheVet. The system allows veterans to access a wide variety of VA health care information and services online. Read More »

Rapidly Increasing Acceptance of 'Open Source' Software by EU Nations

The news just keeps coming about the widespread acceptance and increasingly rapid deployment and use of 'open source' software solutions by local and national government agencies across the Euriopean Union (EU). Federal, state, and local government agencies in the U.S. might want to pay close attention.For example, read about OpenEyes in the U.K., or Pentaho Business Intelligence (BI) software being used in France, or ... Read More »

Health IT Buzz: Progress on Adoption of Electronic Health Records

Latest Health IT Buzz on Health Information Technology (HIT) from the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) - Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA] – which included the creation of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs – was signed into law, the nation has seen unprecedented growth in the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs). Between 2009 and 2012, EHR adoption nearly doubled among physicians and more than tripled among hospitals. Read More »

The New 'Open Imaging' Lung Cancer Research Site Goes Live

Give A Scan is the world's first people-powered, publicly available archive of images and clinical data on lung cancer patients and those at risk for the disease. All of the images and data have been donated by people who have been diagnosed and undergone treatment or screened in order to encourage more researchers to focus on lung cancer and to accelerate progress in the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of this leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. The new site is powered by Midas, Kitware’s open-source data management system. Read More »

Universal healthcare is 'key to growth'

Editor | Sky News | December 6, 2013

Universal health coverage is not only morally correct, but vital for a country's economic development, the President of the World Bank says. Read More »

Lou Shipley Named CEO of Black Duck Software

Press Release | PRNewsWire | December 4, 2013

Black Duck Software, the trusted partner for open source software adoption, management, and governance, today announced Lou Shipley has joined the company as President, Chief Executive Officer and Member of the Board of Directors Read More »

DoD, VA Spent Bulk Of 2012 iEHR Budget On Support Contracts

Staff Writer | Hospital EMR & EHR | November 27, 2013

The VA and DoD’s iEHR project may or may not come together, but it seems clear that at least one party is getting ahead — the vendors the agencies retained to support the project. Read More »

Medicare takes another step toward telehealth

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | December 3, 2013

Medicare is expanding coverage for telehealth consults next year, as part of a gradual embrace of the technology that mobile and remote healthcare advocates have been hoping to accelerate. Read More »

Bill seeks to integrate digital health into Medicare, Medicaid, VA, and Military care

Neil Versel | MobiHealthNews | December 2, 2013

A new bill in Congress seeks to promote wireless, mobile and digital technologies in healthcare as a way to reduce costs and improve the quality of care. Read More »

58% Of Docs Dissatisfied With EHRs, Loss Of Productivity

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | November 18, 2013

If you were worried that EHR dissatisfaction was going away, a new survey by IDC Health Insights can put your fears to rest.  EHR backlash is still going strong, according to 212 ambulatory and hospital-based providers polled in September. Read More »

Pitt Unlocks Trove Of Public Health Data To Help Fight Deadly Contagious Diseases

Editor | RedOrbit | November 29, 2013

In an unprecedented windfall for public access to health data, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers have collected and digitized all weekly surveillance reports for reportable diseases in the United States going back more than 125 years. Read More »

White House announces met repair goals

Kelly Kennedy | USA Today | December 1, 2013

The White House announced Sunday it has met its goal to make the website operate smoothly for most users by Nov. 30, 2013. Read More »

Open Source Is Here To Stay On IBM iSeries

Alex Woodie | IT Jungle | December 2, 2013

For years, open source software has been a bit of a redheaded stepchild in the button-down IBM midrange community. IBM i shops were hesitant to use it, and vendors were afraid to adopt it. But with so much of the computing world now running on open source, the aversion to open source has gradually melted away Read More »

Africa: Partners Commit To Bolster Open Source Research

Press Release | Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) | November 27, 2013

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), UK, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and MMV have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate in an effort to build a global community of researchers contributing to open source drug discovery for diseases of poverty. Read More »

Hospitals Must Attest To Meaningful Use By November 30

Nicole Freeman | EHR Intelligence | November 22, 2013

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would like to remind hospitals that the deadline for attestation for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program is November 30. Those who do not attest by that time will not be able to receive a 2013 incentive. Read More »

Medicaid Expansion, Insurance Exchanges Taxing State Health Agencies

John Moore | Kaiser Permanente | August 29, 2013

Medicaid is set to expand next year, and state IT departments are grappling with pressing deadlines, new eligibility rules and millions of potential applicants as they ready systems to accommodate the changes. Read More »

Open-Source Benefits To Govt Outweigh Misconceptions, Report Says

Miranda Neubauer | techPresident | November 27, 2013

Security challenges, lack of education, interoperability concerns and licensing and legal concerns are some of the top obstacles government officials see for adopting open-source software in agencies, according to a survey in a recent report from GovLoop. Read More »

Learning From 4 Lessons In Choosing A IT Vendor

Rob Enderie | | November 27, 2013

The vendor chosen in a no-bid process to build was fired from a similar project after missing deadlines and suffering security lapses for three years. Such obvious mistakes are unfortunately all too common in the private and public sector. Here are four simple ways to make sure you choose the right vendor for your IT project. Read More »

For Dossia, Digital Health Isn't Just Personal Anymore

John Nosta | Forbes | November 27, 2013

At Boston-based Dossia, it’s not just personal anymore.  The digital health start-up was early in the race to build a lifelong and portable personal health record.  It’s backers read like a who’s who among Fortune 500 companies – Walmart, Intel INTC +0.91%, Applied Materials AMAT -1.37%, Pitney-Bowes and BP BP +0.17% America among them. [...] Read More »

Success Of GNU Health Goes Beyond Free Software

Jen Wike | | March 12, 2013

In 2006, Luis Falcón founded GNU Health, a free health information system that recently recieved the "Best Project of Social Benefit" award given by the Free Software Foundation. Read More »

Jamaican Ministry Of Health Is The First To Adopt Free And Open Source Health System Nationwide

Gabriela Brenes | | November 28, 2013

With a bright Caribbean sun and an even brighter welcoming crew, GNU Health unshipped in a new bay recently. In cooperation with the Jamaican Ministry of Health, a group from GNU Solidario visited the country and officially inaugurated the project of deploying GNU Health, a free health and hospital information system, within their public health care system. Read More »

Federal Agencies Embracing Use Of Open Source Software Code

Liz Gormisky | Defense Daily | December 3, 2013

Federal agencies that previously relied on expensive, built-to-order software are now following a growing trend to embrace open source code. Read More »