The open source developer community, Open Health Tools (OHT), has announced a collaborative effort to develop common healthcare IT products and services. Its 26 members consist of national health agencies, government-funded organisations and agencies, major healthcare providers, international standards organisations and companies from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The members include NHS Connecting for Health, BT, IBM, Oracle and HL7, among others. Formed in November 2007, OHT’s mission is to provide software tools and components that will accelerate the implementation of electronic health information interoperability platforms, which improve patient quality of care, safety and access to electronic health records (EHR).
The results will be available under an open source agreement so anyone may use them to provide interoperable healthcare platforms that will link clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and other points of care to make healthcare systems more efficient.
OHT’s health interoperability framework will use standardised, open interfaces and a set of reusable software components that can be assembled into systems and products by health systems and vendors.
OHT is open to membership from any organisation and the results of member efforts are made available under a commercially friendly open source license. OHT’s governance, legal and intellectual property policies, development processes, and marketing and business practices are based on the Eclipse Foundation model. Any individual, organisation or hospital can build applications using the Foundation’s framework whether or not the entity is a member