[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Re: [Gnumed-devel] Qt licensing issues for GNUmed

From: Tim Churches
Subject: Re: Re: [Gnumed-devel] Qt licensing issues for GNUmed
Date: 13 Aug 2003 07:05:12 +1000

On Tue, 2003-08-12 at 21:36, Karsten Hilbert wrote:
> > All very true and completely reasonable. I wasn't making a case for Qt, 
> > merely 
> > exploring the issues for my own enlightenment, since Qt was mentioned 
> > repeatedly at the GNUmed conference last week.
> BTW, it's good to see you being so active in *this* list, Tim.
> I didn't know you were reading "us" - only knew you from
> "Andrew's list" ;-)

Well, I'm and epidemiologist and public health physician (and an
ex-general practitioner) with a strong conviction that primary care
medicine is the the real key to improving population health in developed
and transitional countries (in developing countries you still need to
focus on basic infrastructure such as clean water, sewerage, and
community-based infectious disease control). With the availability of
modern public health miracle drugs like statins and antihypertensives (I
am not kidding), GPs potentially have much greater impact on public
health than any number of "eat right, exercise more" health promotion
campaigns (as inmportant as these are), and GPs and pills are also
cheaper in the short term than the fairly major reshaping of the modern
built environment and society needed to facilitate healthier lifestyles.

But to do this, GPs need good information systems, and much research and
piloting needs to be done, and these ssytems need to talk to hundreds of
disparate other systems, and every country or region will have slightly
different needs but could share a core infrastructure. That leads one to
only one logical conclusion: that a well-designed and engineered free,
open-source primary care medicine information system is essential, and
GNUmed is the closest I have seen to such a thing (although it still has
a long way to go...).

Thus I decided to attend the in Sydney (where I live), to
meet the various Oz GNUmedistas face-to-face and think seriously about
getting involved. 

Also, I am up to my eyeballs in (funded, as part of my day job) public
health information system development, using Python and PostgreSQL, but
with Web interfaces (at least to start with). There is technology which
can be shared in both directions, I think. For example, we have
developed a Python object-relational wrapper which improves on all the
existing ones (there are about 6 or 7 extant ones which we found) and is
more general in some respects that the GNUmed business objects.
Hopefully that code will be released in a month or so (under a modified
Mozilla license which is GPL compatible). We also have some experimental
(i.e. unusual) but very functional aggregate and statistical analysis
classes written in Python and R which could plug into GNUmed at some
stage (these classes were designed for analysing massive data sets of
100 million rows or more, but they should work fine with a few thousand
rows of general practice data...and the graphs produced by the R engine
are mouth-watering - BTW, R is strictlty GPL, and thus can't be linked
with anything which is non-GPL-compatible - yet another licensing
consideration with respect to Qt for Windows - yes, the R engine runs
fine under Windows as well as Linux/Unix/MacOS/X). From GNUmed I want to
glean knowhow about open source, cross-platform GUI construction, as
well as possibly leveraging GNUmed as a vehicle for public health
sentinel surveillance (in which GP's information systems transmit
aggregated, completely anonymous data on the numbers, age groups, sex
and broad reasons for patient presentations to a centralised public
health surveillance database on a daily or more frequent basis, to
permit early detection of very subtle trends in things like flu-like
illlness, asthma etc. The French have run such a system nationally for
influenza through there Mintel telephone terminals for nearly two
decades, which real benefits for everyone.).  Enough for now. 

Tim C

PGP/GnuPG Key 1024D/EAF993D0 available from keyservers everywhere
or at
Key fingerprint = 8C22 BF76 33BA B3B5 1D5B  EB37 7891 46A9 EAF9 93D0

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: This is a digitally signed message part

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]