[UKUUG-Announce] Open Source Health Informatics Conference 27th October

Jane Morrison office at ukuug.org
Wed Oct 6 11:02:08 BST 2010

Open Source Health Informatics Conference
London 27/10/10


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 
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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