Allscripts has not launched open source medicine

Summary:AllScripts did not introduce open source to health IT. It opened an app store.

I didn't think it was possible. The people at Forbes are getting dumber.

A Forbes blog post titled "open source makes debut in health care" is making its rounds about the Internet this morning.

It describes an effort by Allscripts to build the equivalent of an "app store" within its online Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. It's called the "Application Store and Exchange."

Apple's app store is not open source.

Even if Allscripts were making all its code visible (which is what open source means) this would not be its introduction to the health care market, either.

Medsphere and other EHR companies based on the VA's VistA system have been around for years. There are many open source companies in health care beyond those devoted to VistA. The whole National Healthcare Information Network (NHIN) effort being conducted by the government right now is geared around open source, visible code that vendors can adapt as they see fit.

This is not to dump on what Allscripts has done here. Giving SaaS customers a secure way to trade enhancements is a great thing. The example cited by Zina Moukheiber, of adapting an e-prescription system to another vendor, is a good thing.

But that's not open source. Apple is not an open source company. Copying Apple doesn't make you an open source company. There is a ton of health IT stuff in the open source world. Open Health Tools is all over it.  The government is a big supporter of open source health IT.

Topics: Open Source

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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