Feature Articles

Chromecast: Understanding its Potential beyond Video Streaming

Google launched the $35 Chromecast into the US market in July 2013 and it became available in the UK in March 2014.  It’s primarily marketed as a device for streaming video to your TV, and, as such, is usually compared with the Roku streamer, Apple TV and the new Amazon Fire TV. Once you look under the covers, you discover that such comparisons are misleading: unlike the other devices, the Chromecast is actually much more than just a streaming device for TV.

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The ICD 10 Extension: For whatever reasons, Congress did the right thing!

Did you hear the one about the CMS administrator who was asked what it would take to delay the 2014 ICD-10 implementation deadline? An act of Congress, he smugly replied, according to unverified reports. Good thing he didn’t say an act of God. So, now that CMS has been overruled by Congress, who wins and who loses? Who’s happy and who’s not?

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Heartbleed, an Apache License Business Model Failure?

The two year old HeartBleed bug that was recently discovered in OpenSSL and that affects millions of internet users, reveals a similar problem that could have a serious impact on the way we look at open source software. Companies such as Cisco have built expensive applications on top of OpenSSL. Security consultants have been paid good money to guarantee that OpenSSL was safe. But the OpenSSL project itself was driven by a core of only four unpaid volunteers.

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Slow Death by EMR or: How I Learned to Stop Clicking and Love Google Glass

Here's a dirty little secret that I'll share with you: the clinical usability of current-generation electronic medical record (EMR) systems is nothing short of atrocious. If the Geneva Convention's proscription against torture extended to healthcare information technology (HIT), most vendors would be out of business and behind bars. But you probably already knew that: a November 2013 article in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine (AJEM) found that community emergency physicians spend 44 percent of their time interacting with EMRs and click up to 4,000 times in a 10-hour shift.

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3D Printing: A Revolutionary Advance for the Field of Urology?

This article reviews the development of biological 3D printing, or biofabrication, within the field of urology and examines both the pros and the cons of this emerging technology. The cost implications of this technology for healthcare facilities are considered, as well as the entrepreneurial opportunities that arise from the emergence and evolution of 3D printing. Read More »

Google Glass Moves With Speed Thanks to Open Source

I recently got a Google Glass device through the Explorer Program. Once I got it in my hands, I linked it to my associated Gmail account and G+ account. Then, I got started. One of the first things I noticed was that I was presented with many open source software tools to work with. This was exciting. And, I soon learned that it was thanks to these open source resources that Glass development can be done quickly and successfully. Read More »

IT Consumerization: A Case Study of BYOD in a Healthcare Setting

This article focuses on the implementation of BYOD in a healthcare setting. First, the challenges of implementing BYOD in the healthcare industry are examined. Next, a case study of The Ottawa Hospital is developed to illustrate the practical benefits and hurdles that must be overcome when hospital staff begin using consumer IT devices in the workplace. Finally, recommendations are offered to help healthcare organizations develop and implement a successful BYOD strategy. Read More »

Top 10 eClinical Trends

The drug development industry is facing a revolution in the way clinical trials are being planned and conducted. It’s an industry that experiences rapid changes in technology adoption and business models, from new ways of capturing clinical data to new outsourcing strategies. This paper focuses on ten essential eClinical trends in order to help you understand which direction the biotech industry is prone to take in the next few years. As both the means, and the ultimate motivation of clinical development, patients are the most fundamental assets during the clinical trial process. We have summed up five trends that are destined to give them a more important role in the conduct of clinical studies: Boosting Patient Engagement, Integrated ePRO (electronic Patient Reported Outcomes) Systems, Mobile Clinical Studies, Personalized medicine, and Risk-based monitoring. Read More »

Can Data Provide the Trust we Need in Health Care?

One of the problems dragging down the US health care system is that nobody trusts one another. Most of us, as individuals, place faith in our personal health care providers, which may or may not be warranted. But on a larger scale we’re all suspicious of each other... Read More »

Pursuing Adoption of Free and Open Source Software in Governments

Free and open source software creates a natural — and even necessary — fit with government. I joined a panel this past weekend at the Free Software Foundation conference LibrePlanet on this topic and have covered it previously in a journal article and talk. Our panel focused on barriers to its adoption and steps that free software advocates could take to reach out to government agencies. Read More »

Makers are the new industrial revolution

Following up on the recent review of the Maker's Manifesto, I ran across the book Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson. Anderson is a former Editor in Chief of Wired and no stranger to the economic paradoxes of peer-production and open source. He has written about both in previous books The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More and Free: The Future of a Radical Price. Read More »

Open Data Can Drive Partnerships With Government

As governments and businesses — and increasingly, all of us who are Internet-connected — release data out in the open, we come closer to resolving the tiresomely famous and perplexing quote from Stewart Brand: “Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive.” Open data brings home to us how much free information is available and how productive it is in its free state, but one subterranean thread I found in Joel Gurin’s book Open Data Now highlights an important point: information is very expensive. Read More »

The Evolving Role of Open Source Software in Medicine and Health Services

In this article, we highlight the barriers to progress and discuss the dangers of pursuing a standardization framework devoid of empirical testing and iterative development. We give the example of the openEHR Foundation, which was established at University College London (UCL) in London, England, with members in 80 countries....We argue that such an approach is now essential to support good discipline, innovation, and governance at the heart of medicine and health services, in line with the new mandate for health commissioning in the United Kingdom's National Health Service (NHS), which emphasizes patient participation, innovation, transparency, and accountability. Read More »

Who helps your Linux distribution run smoothly? Thank a packager today

The people behind the scenes who work tirelessly to make your Linux distribution run smoothly are the packagers. The vast majority of Linux packagers are volunteers who dedicate their evenings and weekends to create and maintain the gears of the Linux distributions they love. Read More »

Disrupting Healthcare IT - The Easy Way to Develop a Beautiful and Usable EHR User Interface

Despite the best endeavors of the “mainstream” IT community, it’s an interesting fact that the top-end of the EHR marketplace is dominated by systems that use an otherwise little-known and poorly-understood database technology: Mumps.  Not only does this represent something of a closed book to the outside development community – they universally balk at the idea of having to use this technology’s native language, but also the companies that have developed and own these EHRs keep their technology tightly under their own control. Read More »