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[Gnumed-devel] support options for medical practices using GNUmed

From: J Busser
Subject: [Gnumed-devel] support options for medical practices using GNUmed
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 09:57:55 -0700

A few doctors from various parts of Canada have gotten in touch to ponder how to solve the dilemma wherein doctor groups may say

        "Open Source - it may be fine, but *who* will support it?"

One group was looking at getting GNUmed further developed, and to establish a company to provide local support. Right now, they are "frozen", because commercial vendors have been able to destabilize the process, with warnings that the group's Executive would be "crazy" and other fear mongering.

But anyway in the discussion it was suggested to me that any of IBM, Unisys, Novell, Sierra Systems might be interested both in helping to support Canadian doctors using GNUmed with whatever other additional development would be required. Their interest would presumably be in proportion to the size of the potential market for their services.

One question that I have is whether one of these companies -- supposing Novell -- prefers users to run their preferred distro -- like SuSE --- would we have to be concerned that they would seek to build into the code dependencies on a commercial version of "their" distro or am I worrying unnecessarily assuming we can require an unforked GNUmed to remain multi-os compatible (therefore it would have to be kept multi-distro compatible).

Or do people think it would be better for a medical association or group to create a company to provide local support? The advantage would be control. But would a big disadvantage be that even if you hired smart people who understood the business of IT, you would be challenged to "grow" (scale) the support as hopefully more doctors start to use GNUmed?

Also, some people in my area are running OSCAR. Would it make sense to try to develop a support system (group/company) that supports more than one Open Source software, or does *that* sound inadvisable?

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