Does HIMSS hate open source?

From what I saw in Orlando back in February, HIMSS is a Comdex for medical IT. You will notice that in mainstream computing, Comdex is dead. Hint, hint.

Fred TrotterOpen source advocate Fred Trotter writes today that HIMSS, the representative for the medical IT industry, is just a lobby for proprietary software.

He seems surprised.

I'm not. Any organization must represent its members, just as a publication is expected to advocate for its readers' interests.

Even a cursory look at HIMSS' membership shows it to consist almost entirely of proprietary software outfits. In this crowd Microsoft is the "open" solution.

Fred is outraged:

They allow us “Open Source” guys to give talks and even have working groups because they would be violating their charter if they did not. But they do not like us. They are terrified of us, and they should be. HIMSS lives off of the fat in Healthcare IT. Mature proprietary EHR systems have been around for decades, and they still have 5%-15% penetration. Why? They are too expensive and too risky.

It's as though Captain Renault has just discovered that there is gambling at Rick's American Bar in Casablanca.

Fat margins mean open source companies can't even afford to appear at HIMSS, Trotter writes. This is also true.

Here is another shocker. I doubt that even a successful open source start-up in the HIMSS wheelhouse will ever be able to afford a big booth at its trade show. Open source compresses margins.

From what I saw in Orlando back in February, HIMSS is a Comdex for medical IT. You will notice that in mainstream computing, Comdex is dead.

Hint, hint.

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