Healthcare Driven by Open Source Software

The Complex Web of Health Industry

The health and social care industry is a highly fragmented and complex industry with medical practitioners, nurses, health professionals, hospitals, clinics, government and non-government agencies all providing health services.

The spectrum of health care providers range from individual clinicians such as General Practitioners to large monolithic entities such as the National Health Service in the UK which is the third largest employer in the world today.

eHealth Software Complexity

Software complexity is increasing with no end in sight as today’s code becomes the foundation for tomorrow’s more complex functionality. Historically, healthcare organisations have created platforms to manage these solutions fairly autonomously, both within individual organisations and industry wide. Quite often these systems were procured at significant expense from software vendors who lock them into solutions that restrict innovation, stifle diversity and have little ability to be re-used.

In the past, developing all software internally was a point of pride for many organizations. Today, the complexity of modern software, coupled with the pressures to release applications and products on tight deadlines, has made delivering projects that rely exclusively on internal code development almost impossible. Increasingly, organizations are turning to commercial third party code, code brought in from outsourcers and contractors, and open source software (OSS) to accelerate development and reduce costs.

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