Exploring the Impact of Technology and Innovation in Developing Countries

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Technology Innovation in Developing Countries Authors: Jayaram Krishnaswamy, Julia Chernykh, AppDynamics Blog, Jnan Dash, Kevin Benedict

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Healthcare Industry Turning to Open Source for Efficient IT Solutions

ehealth, open sourceIf we turn back time two years, the healthcare industry was beginning to get its feet wet in the big data analytics pool. According to research from PwC, in 2013, 79 percent of healthcare executives anticipated increasing their technology spends in the areas of analytics, improved electronic health record (EHR) capabilities and other IT initiatives

Flash forward to present time and the healthcare industry is starting to adopt an increasing amount of open source software for the purpose of streamlining procedures, gathering more insightful patient data and reducing IT costs.

Today, open source is a commonplace element found in much of healthcare software. Why? Because open source enables developers to get products to market sooner, and the software itself is more conducive (than proprietary software) to immediate patches in the event of a security breach or other malfunction because teams of technologists can gain access to the code. These two advantages are enormous benefits in the healthcare industry because doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers need 24/7 access to up-to-date and secure patient information in the most efficient manner possible.

What’s more, the cost efficiency of open source software—compared to proprietary software that is bound by licensing fees among other cost raising factors—makes it an attractive option for those in the healthcare space. For instance, even the U.S. military uses open source technology for its healthcare solutions to cut costs and improve efficiency. As well, open source healthcare technology for the military will enable faster responses to threats as well as continuous collaboration and development on the implemented software—something that wouldn’t be so easy to do with closed, proprietary software.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) has launched Code4Health, a pro gramme to promote the use of open source technology to deliver quality solutions for the health and care community. Code4Health aims to build on the growing movement of like-minded individuals and organizations who want to come together to share ideas, change working practice and build software solutions to improve healthcare. At Protecode, we have been collaborating with the NHS to launch a competition, intended to highlight licensing and security vulnerabilities that should be avoided by Code4Health collaborators as they develop and contribute their software to the community. With its rich asset and resource catalog, Code4Health invites software players to a collaborative and cooperative environment in which to create open technology solutions for the health and care community. 

Furthermore, other open source healthcare tools like GNU Health streamline and improve procedures for practitioners, institutions and governments of all sizes and in all locations globally. This innovative open source project makes healthcare technology easily accessible for third-world countries and rural locations across the globe that might not otherwise have access to decent tools. As such, open source is unifying the global healthcare industry and creating free and accessible tools that everyone can use, not just the institutions or governments that can afford hefty technology budgets.

Open source software is revolutionizing the healthcare industry and offering solutions where there previously were none. Read more about open source innovation in the healthcare space here or read our recent whitepaper Healthcare Driven by Open Source.

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More Stories By Lacey Thoms

Lacey Thoms is a marketing specialist and blogger at Protecode, a provider of open source license management solutions. During her time at Protecode, Lacey has written many articles on open source software management. She has a background in marketing communications, digital advertising, and web design and development. Lacey has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications from Carleton University.