Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Collaborating on Global Health

Open Health Tools (OHT) has announced that there is now a way to collaborate on Global Health IT solutions. A collaborative effort has been put into place where national health agencies, government-funded organizations and agencies, major healthcare providers, international standards organizations, and companies from Australia, Canada, the UK, and the U.S. can now work together to develop common healthcare IT products and services.

The global health IT community will focus on the requirements, design, and development of enabling tools and components. The results will be available under an open source agreement to enable interoperable healthcare platforms to link clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and other points of care.

“Every day lives are lost and people are at risk because of the lack of integrated and interoperable health IT networks, despite the existence of similar networks in almost every other industry. We believe that collaborative open source communities like OHT are the key to driving the evolution of emerging health IT standards” according to Ciaran DellaFera, IBM Engineer and CTO of Healthcare & Industry Software Standards for IBM Software Group.

OHT is a membership organization comprised of standards organizations, academia, national health systems, the open source community, vendors, and IT professionals. The results of the members’ efforts will be made available under a commercially-friendly open source license.

The inaugural vendors and open source organizations providing medical software services and equipment include IBM, Inpriva, Eclipse, Ocean Informatics, CollabNet Oracle, Red Hat, Kestral, BT, JP Systems, Palamida, B2 International, NexJ Systems, Innoopract, and Ozmosis. The academia and research groups contributing include Linkoping University, Oregon State University Open Source Lab, and Mohawk College.

“The need to exchange patient health information across healthcare organization boundaries creates complex privacy challenges,” said Don Jorgenson, CEO, Inpriva. “We expect that the availability of standards-based security/privacy components in the Open Health Tools framework will help accelerate deployment of interoperable healthcare systems and health information networks.”

For more information, go to www.openhealthtools.org or contact Barbara Stewart at (480) 488-6909 or email Barbara@patterson.com.