[UKUUG-Announce] Open Source Health Informatics Conference 27th October
office at ukuug.org
Wed Oct 6 11:02:08 BST 2010
Open Source Health Informatics Conference
This one day Health Informatics conference hosted and organized by
the Open Source Specialist Group (OSSG) (http://ossg.bcs.org/) will be held on
Wednesday 27th October 2010 from around 1000 to 1700 hours at the BCS Central
London Offices, First Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street,
London WC2E 7HA (http://www.bcs.org/upload/pdf/london-office-guide.pdf)
This event is free and open to all and to book a place please contact Mark
Elkins via mark_elkins at bcs.org
The focus of this conference will be around the place that Open
Source software should have in UK healthcare and how a coherent
community might be established around it. For example would: An NHS
version of OpenOffice be a practical proposition?; Could the skillsets
that exist within UK healthcare be utilised to create sustainable
implementations of Open Source software?; How would the requirements for
this be gathered?; Is standardisation via Open Source software a viable
aim across the UK healthcare sector?
Ben Tebbs: A graduate of Sheffield and Coventry Universities, Ben joined Pentaho
in October 2009 to drive forward the UK & Ireland business. With 17 years in
the enterprise software business with ITSM, BPM and BI players Metastorm and
Datawatch, amongst others, Ben manages key UK Pentaho NHS customers such as
Islington PCT and the NHS Information Centre as well as being responsible for
new business. He brings a strong track record in BI to bear alongside a deep
knowledge of the NHS marketplace.
Paul Richardson on general vision plus practical steps. Paul has recently
created http://www.oshi-uk.com/ which is an expression/discussion focal point
on the adoption of Open Source by the NHS.
Malcolm Newbury will give a talk on XDS and its open source componentry
covering where to use openesb and muralon. Malcolm is an experienced
programme and consulting manager with an extensive track record of delivery
in open source healthcare integration and collaboration services. At Sun
Microsytem’s he managed integration services to over 100 NHS accounts
including Spine, delivered Sun ’s implementation of Choose and Book at key
London Trusts and went on to devise and promote Sun’s open source strategy
for healthcare worldwide. At PA Consulting he delivered some key phases of
some important data sharing initiatives such as GP2GP and the NHS Data
Dictionary. He is also supplier co-chair of IHE-UK.
Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton – gnumed importing HL7 v3 lab data
Denise Downs of CFH on a research project with York University on
establishing an open source ecosystem in UK for health informatics
Les Hatton – FOSS systems: why do we not use them more ?
We do not have a very good record in deploying successful large
systems in the UK. The health sector is arguably the largest absorber of
funding for such systems and as such has come in for a justifiable
share of the opprobrium, with numerous difficulties being reported in
various systems, notably the flagship Connecting for Health program.
What is the role of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) in all this ?
It is usually greeted by suspicion and yet much of the world’s IT
infrastructure depends on it. This talk highlights some of the less obvious
benefits of open source. Yes its free, but consider the following:
Many of its significant projects are astonishingly reliable when
compared with their commercial equivalents. The Linux kernel is now by a
number of measures the most reliable complex application the human race
has managed to construct so far.Its evolutionary aspects are much more suited
to the shifting sands of requirements inherent in the successful deployment of
major systems.The unusually high quality of its amateur researchers has solved
many of the world’s knottier IT problems, for example, FOSS contributors
in Bayesian and other forms of filtering have effectively conquered
spam. If you get spam its because of the ignorance of your ISP and not because
of the lack of a sophisticated solution.Its informal support is in my
experience far better than support from big suppliers. How many levels of
telephone menu can you take ?
I will give a number of examples to support these and other points
including a comparative assessment of the Welsh equivalent of the
Connecting for Health program. The bottom line is that its relatively
straight-forward to build high-quality scalable systems at a modest price. All
you have to do is to heed important historical lessons about engineering, most
of which have evolved naturally in FOSS systems.
Les Hatton MA, MSc, LLM, PhD, C.Eng is managing director of Oakwood
Computing Associates Ltd. and holds the Chair of Forensic Software
Engineering at the Kingston University, London. He received a number of
international prizes for geophysics in the 1970s and 1980s before
becoming interested in software reliability and switching careers in the
1990s. Although he has spent most of his working life in industry, he
was formerly a Professor of Geophysics at the University of Delft, the
Netherlands and prior to that an Industrial Fellow in Geophysics at
Wolfson College Oxford.
He has published many technical papers and his 1995 book “Safer C”
helped promote the use of safer language subsets in embedded control
systems and paved the way for the automotive industry’s widelyused
MISRA C standard. He has designed, implemented and/or managed the
production of successful government and commercial IT systems, from
50,000 source lines up to the world’s first portable seismic data
processing package, SKS, eventually comprising some 2,000,000 source
His primary interests in computing science are forensic engineering,
information security, legal liability and the theory of large systems
evolution. In mathematics, he is active in signal processing, medical
image processing, sports biomechanics and modelling the effects of high
frequency sound on marine mammals. He is the guitarist and harmonica player
with the Juniper Hill Blues Band.
John Chelsom and Raju Aluwhalia - Open Health Informatics – A Fresh Approach
to NHS IT
The NHS is just emerging from a decade of wasted opportunity in the
development of clinical information systems, particularly Electronic
Health Records. The National Programme for IT was a centralised approach to
information sharing that has failed on a number of levels. This has
delayed the introduction of new systems, weakened the commercial
supplier base and disheartened many IT professionals in the service. The
NHS needs a new approach to clinical IT. Some have called for the use of more
open source software, and it is true that open source and open standards can
go some way towards providing long term solutions for the NHS.
But just introducing open source software risks repeating many of the
mistakes that have dogged the National Programme – lack of involvement
of practitioners, protection of the vested interests of product vendors,
reliance on large-scale service providers and over-complicated
solutions to immediate and very practical problems. Open Health Informatics
introduces two new dimensions to the open standards / open source landscape.
Firstly, the use of open interfaces so that every component of a solution can
be plugged in and out at will, enabling a ‘best of breed’ approach to open
source and eliminating once and for all the product-centric culture that has
held back the NHS.
Secondly, the use of open development processes – agile development
that involves users and other stakeholders at every step of the way.
Agile, open processes also eliminate the pretence that users know
exactly what they want at the start of development, or that the solution
provider knows exactly how to deliver it. This presentation outlines the key
concepts of Open Health Informatics, its potential benefits and drawbacks, and
provides feedback on initial studies and practical implementation undertaken
at City University, London.
John Chelsom is a Professor at the Centre for Health Informatics,
City University, London and Managing Partner at Eleven Informatics LLP.
He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and a PhD for work on the
application of knowledge-based systems in critical care medicine. For
fifteen years he headed a software company which developed some of first
web-based health records systems in the NHS and played a major part in
designing and implementing systems for the National Programme for IT. He
accepted the award for ‘SME of the Year’ from the BCS in 2007. At City
University he heads a research programme investigating, evaluating and
promoting the use of Open Health Informatics for the development of
clinical information systems.
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