Open Healthcare Framework

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Report from EclipseCon: OHF FTF

On the last day of EclipseCon, we had a FTF meeting. The meeting was well attended, with the normal attendees, and some very welcome guests. I'd like to thank every one who took the time to attend the meeting.

I was encouraged by the attendance. Since the beginning of this project, two main issues have stood in our way, that hinder our acceptance by the healthcare industry. The first issue I dealt with in my previous post - the server issue. So, we have resolved that. The second issue is the focus of our years work. I've lost count of the number of people who've said to me that the OHF project is doomed to failure, like any other open source initiatives in healthcare, because of [insert reason here].

I understand why there are so many people who believe that we will not achieve anything. But I've always believed that just as Eclipse is an idea whose time as come (an elephant that can no longer be ignored by anyone), so the time has come for a open source base for healthcare applications. While I'm less of a believer in open source healthcare applications - there's just so much to finish off in a healthcare application - I do think that an application framework that provides the common 90% of stuff that vendors all have to do to have any healthcare application can be a major contribution to the industry, and a value proposition for vendors and providers alike.

So the thing we have to do to convince the skeptical people is to start producing value. This years plan focuses on producing value: to publish robust and reliable IHE actor implementations that will help healthcare venders get IHE certification. In addition, we will be focusing on getting CTS in place, figuring out what supporting healthcare services and SOA means, and developing cutting edge HL7 tools.

For OHF this year, the message is simple: Code talks louder than words.

And, for those who care, I am writing up the outcomes of the meeting to post to the OHF web site and finalising the edits to the plan for 2006, and these will be posted soon.

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