Open Source Software

I would like to start a discussion about open source software. I think this is critical to the success of projects such as ours. We, for instance, have created a number of open source products for use in healthcare, especially at the intersection of clinical health and public health. Here are some articles about those projects:

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  • For the tech inclined, GitHub APIs and list details about all federal open source code can be found at the following:


    Uses Javascript to query the Social Media Registry and GitHub APIs and list details about all federal open source code on GitHub - GSA/federal-open-s…
  • Hello, Noam!  Thanks for your comment.  I would also agree that this is one place where FLOSS seem especially critical to success.

  • APIs are standards, or specifications. But they still require products to instantiate them. So, to talk about APIs and not the software itself seems incomplete to me. Even modular systems use software components.

    You can see a talk I gave on Open Source at a conference a few years back at
    • My apologies, I should have been more specific.  What I was trying to communicate is the software products that will address the needs of an interoperable world as described by CMS and ONC in their proposed rules have additional requirements (dependancies / versions / security) to a traditional unified application program.  Each one of the modules is a piece of software as you stated.  I believe that the efforts by CMS and ONC for use in healthcare would make sense in Human Services as well, especially if interoperability is a goal.  Each one of those software modules could be open source with an appropriate license.

      I was just trying to understand the scope and context of the open source software conversation that you were interested in having.

      • No worries. I am interested in having as broad or specific a conversation as anyone cares to have! There are open source solutions for many of the basic requirements of healthcare interoperability, including message parsers (like HAPI), interface engines (like NextGen Connect, formerly Mirth), and NIST testing tools.

        HAPI – The Open Source HL7 API for Java
  • Open Source is certainly the way things are headed.  I think that the adoption of APIs (FHIR etc.) in the healthcare domain will be a good enabler of modular open source efforts.  My first question would be your idea of open source.  The future that I see is one based on cloud APIs such as FHIR or possibly an API into the ICE engine you describe.  The reason that I draw a distinction is because the modular approach (APIs etc.) will need a level of governance and a framework of test services as well. IMHO modular is where things are headed in healthcare. (CMS/ONC proposed rules).  Let me know a little more about your thoughts.

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