Open Source Health Care Alliance Meeting
6-7 September 2001
Session on Developing Countries
The Open Source Health Care Alliance <http://www.oshca.org> is orga-
nizing its second annual meeting to take place on September 6 and 7
The meeting is sponsored by the UK's NHS
<http://www.nhsia.nhs.uk/pages/open_source.htm>. I am organizing a
session on developing countries and would be very happy to hear from
people interested in participating. Any other suggestions are also
warmly welcome. Please, feel free to contact me with questions.
My personal objectives for the meeting include the following:
* introduce policy makers, innovators, and users to the benefits of
the open source approach in health care informatics;
* welcome new members from developing countries in the community such
that the needs and visions of all parts of the world are repre-
sented in OSHCA;
* foster better understanding for the needs of developing countries
in the existing community;
* explore opportunities for collaboration on open source projects
withing the developing world and between developing and western
The following gives some brief background on the open source ap-
Open source is defined by software licenses that allow the free modi-
fication and redistribution of source code. Among the better-known
open source software is the Linux operating system and the Apache web
server. The probably most interesting potential that comes from this
is the possibility of informal collaboration of autonomous players,
organized in virtual communities, and in absence of legal and organ-
izational barriers. For developing countries, it is also of interest
that most cost of open source products is related to local services
much rather than remote intellectual property rights. Also, collabo-
ration with western players is possible without any harmful dependen-
cies or control. More details about open source in general can be
found at <http://www.opensource.org>. Some considerations of how it
applies to health care informatics can be found at:
I am looking forward to your comments and suggestions.
Bud P. Bruegger, Ph.D.
Via U. Bassi, 54
58100 Grosseto, Italy
Send mail for the `AFRO-NETS' conference to `<firstname.lastname@example.org>'.
Mail administrative requests to `<email@example.com>'.
For additional assistance, send mail to: `<firstname.lastname@example.org>'.