open source, health care, and the data commons

From his recent post for Strata Rx“Open Source software as a model for healthcare”Andy Oram with some important reminders and parallels. Do have a read.

“Open data is now a rallying cry for advocates of public information and more effective governments, but the lesson of the open source movement is that the mathematics and algorithms used to process data should be open as well. This applies to health care because data is inert in itself. Some kind of processing must be applied to extract useful information, and it this takes the form of open source code, many people can check it for accuracy, reuse it, and upgrade it.

It is this continuous activity of sharing and upgrading that drives and defines quality and value over time. In other words, the community is the purveyor of value.”


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