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AFRO-NETS> Open Source Health Care Alliance Meeting

Open Source Health Care Alliance Meeting

6-7 September 2001 
London, UK

Session on Developing Countries

Dear Colleagues:

The Open Source Health Care Alliance <> is orga-
nizing its second annual meeting to take place on September 6 and 7 
in London.

The meeting is sponsored by the UK's NHS 
<>. 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 <>. Some considerations of how it 
applies to health care informatics can be found at:

I am looking forward to your comments and suggestions.

Kind regards,

Bud P. Bruegger, Ph.D.
Via U. Bassi, 54
58100 Grosseto, Italy
Tel: +39-0564-418667
Fax: +39-0564-426104

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