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

From: Tim Churches
Subject: Re: [Gnumed-devel] support options for medical practices using GNUmed
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 07:01:54 +1000
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0 (Windows/20041206)

J Busser wrote:
> 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.

Those larger companies would want to fork GNUmed and re-write it to use
their own products - not just the underlying version of Linux, but IBM
would re-write GNUmed as a Web application to use DB2 and Websphere etc
etc. That's how they make their money.

> 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?

Much better. The Malaysian PrimaCare system is your model here: a group
of about 40 Malaysian GPs banded together to form PCDOM (see but site seems to be down right now) - "Primary
Care Doctors' Organisation of Malaysia" - then financed teh writing of
PrimaCare, their own medical information system, and then spun off a
company to install and support it, not just in their own practices, but
in many other practices across Malaysia. It is proceeding well. I think
they got some funding from teh malaysian govt as well - after they
started - but it is otherwise self-financing.

> 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?

No reason not to support more than one system - probably esential due to
economies of scale.

Tim C

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