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Medsphere now says open source will make it dominant

Doyle predicts Medsphere will eventually be the largest company in health care IT because of its open source heritage.

Michael Doyle, CEO of Medsphere"We’re the only open source provider in health care IT." As a result Medsphere Systems Corp. of Aliso Viejo believes it will one day be the biggest.

The man making the prediction was new Medsphere CEO Michael Doyle. He has been on the job for just a few weeks, and he seems supremely confident, even though the Medsphere offices are still filled with smoke, even though he can see California burning from his home in Irvine.

Doyle predicts Medsphere will eventually be the largest company in health care IT because of its open source heritage. Medsphere's software is based on the VA's VistA system, and the company recently settled a legal dispute with its founders concerning its open source stance.

"We don’t view Cerner or Eclipsys or any of those guys as competitors. We have a completely different distribution model, a different development model."

Doyle will conduct a retreat with his management team and board next month, then lay out in detail the company's new product strategy.

One glaring weakness, billing, has already been addressed.

"We partnered with Keane to have that functionality. What Keane does is provide the billing information system which we integrate with our system. We use a traditional interface to link our application."

Since VistA, the Veterans' Administration software on which Medsphere was based, worked in a single payer world, the original program was weak in third party billing.

Doyle is also committed to better relationships with the open source community. "We’re going to be building better relationships going forward, both with WorldVista as well as non-affiliated developers. I would expect very good relations."

Doyle's background includes 17 years in health care delivery, and 6 in software. While this is his first open source company, he said it is open source which attracted him to Medsphere. "I was a big believer in this before. I watched RedHat and VA." VA Linux founder Larry Augustin remains on the Medsphere board.

"I understand those fields," he added. "I’ve done an IPO, I’ve done a number of start ups before, and I’m able to evangelize ideas and build teams around the ideas and execute. I’ve also been able to attract really talented people to whatever endeavor I’ve been able to lead.

"I think the board liked my leadership ability, my experience, my vision for the company, and my ability to attract peole and money to the company."

Now, with the fires at Medsphere put out, Doyle will get a chance to test his vision.