Information technology  

First healthcare day for open source software at LinuxWorld

9 August 2006

Beaverton Ore, USA. The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), a global consortium dedicated to accelerating the adoption of Linux and open source software, will host the first ever Healthcare Day at LinuxWorld San Francisco on August 15, 2006. The event is in response to an expected increase in healthcare IT spending in the near term and the growing role of open source software in the healthcare industry.

According to a Rand Corp. study published earlier this year, IT budgets average just two to three percent of overall healthcare expenditures, which compares to 12-15 percent in other industries. As a result, healthcare IT spending is expected to grow at a faster rate than overall IT, increasing the appeal of open source software to managers who are being pressed to ensure security of patient information and to drive consistency among networks.

"Linux and open source software have become pervasive in vertical markets such as retail and financial services. The healthcare market today is positioned for major growth, and managers are in a position to take control of their IT strategies and to have a significant impact on their organizations and the overall healthcare industry with open source technologies," said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL.

Medsphere CEO Kenneth W. Kizer, MD MPH, will deliver the Day's keynote. Medsphere is a leading provider of open source software for the healthcare industry, including OpenVista, a portfolio of open source products and services based on the highly successful VistA electronic medical-records system used by the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs.

"Linux and open source software are changing the way that healthcare IT is created and delivered by today's major IT vendors," Dr. Kizer said. "The cost savings and efficiencies inherent in the open source model are creating significant market opportunities for vendors and developers involved in the healthcare market."

OSDL Healthcare Day will bring together leaders in healthcare IT focused on driving the use of open source software and standards to increase efficiencies and interoperability among healthcare networks. The agenda includes application demos, deployment case studies, interactive discussions and a close look at the emerging impact Linux and open source software are having on the next generation of healthcare.

"OSDL has been successful in facilitating collaboration and movement with Linux on the desktop, in telecommunications and in the data center. We are very happy to see they are leading the charge in healthcare where there is wide open opportunity for advancement," said Joe Alexander, director of strategy, Bull Products & Systems. "We're looking forward to looking at the key issues, identifying opportunities and working with OSDL to move healthcare IT forward."

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