Medsphere re-dedicated to open source

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.

Michael Doyle, CEO of Medsphere
"We’re the only open source provider in health care IT."

The voice on the other end of the line was strong and confident, even though new Medsphere CEO Michael Doyle had been on the job for just a few weeks, even though the Medsphere offices in Aliso Viejo were filled with smoke, even though he could see the California wildfires from his home in Irvine.

In an interview with ZDNet, Doyle predicted 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 said he will conduct a retreat with his management team and board next month, then lay out in detail the company's new product strategy.

He said he has already addressed one glaring weakness, billing. "We partnered with Keane to have that functionality. What Keene 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.

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