Aug. 9, 2006 By: Enterprise Open Source News Desk
IBM has announced a major step in the drive toward a national electronic medical records system by contributing software technology that supports the exchange of healthcare information to the open source community.
The software, contributed to the Eclipse Foundation’s Open Healthcare Framework (OHF) project, provides a mechanism to connect isolated "islands" of information that today reside throughout the healthcare system to any Health Information Exchange (HIE). Software developers will also be able to build applications that can aggregate and sift through this information to improve healthcare delivery and research while protecting individual privacy.
According to the Center for Information Technology Leadership, systems that enable standardized information exchange are by far the best investment for the nation as a whole, with net savings that likely represent 5 percent of current U.S. healthcare expenditures. Such capabilities stand to enable more accurate, timely diagnoses that could markedly improve treatments.
OHF, one of the leading efforts to deliver an open source, standards-based platform for healthcare software, has close ties to leading healthcare standards organizations. Any Independent Software Vendor (ISV) will be able to use the tools in OHF to connect their applications to any standards-based infrastructure, including IBM’s HIE.
IBM Research has also established new Healthcare and Life Sciences Innovation Centers spanning its Almaden, Watson, Haifa and Zurich Research Labs. These centers provide a focal point for collaborative work with healthcare clients and qualified IBM Business Partners in the application of key IBM Research expertise and technologies in this field.