News Extras For the Week (16/11/2008).

Again there has been just a heap of stuff arrive this week.

First we have:

A pragmatic European approach to open standards (a must-read)

by Tony Austin

Sunday, 09 November 2008


The European Journal of ePractice has just published a research report showing that the achievement of wide-scale implementation depends not only on the openness of the process, but also on the willingness to negotiate and achieve a compromise.

The report, published 31 October 2008, is titled The Momentum of Open Standards - a Pragmatic Approach to Software Interoperability and is available as a PDF download (13 pages).

The European Journal of ePractice is a peer-reviewed online publication on eTransformation, launched in November 2007. (Warning: there are more "e" words ahead!)

The Journal belongs to the community ('e' standing for electronic), is sponsored by the European Commission as part of its good practice exchange activity.

The publication is open access, free of charge to all readers and aims to promote the diffusion and exchange of good practice in three domains: eGovernment, eHealth and eInclusion.

The meaning of eGovernment and eHealth should be fairly obvious. The third domain, eInclusion, "aims to prevent social and economic exclusion, especially of already disadvantaged people, due to divergences in knowledge and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), notably Internet-allowed services. eInclusion also means tapping new 'digital opportunities' for the participation of less-favored people and areas."

More here:

This article makes a compelling case for pragmatic standards and openness in their development. Right on! I agree a must read.

Free Cancer Research Tools Available

The National Cancer Institute for Bioinformatics and Information Technology has released for public use version 1.1 of its caBIG Clinical Trials Suite of applications.

The open source, free applications have been developed by organizations in the cancer research community. ...


The applications are intended for use by clinical researchers. They can be downloaded in a bundle or as individual components at

More information on caBIG is available at

More here:

This is obviously an important announcement to those in the area!

Third we have:

IBA Health's hopes rise on new IT platform launch

November 12, 2008

Article from: Australian Associated Press

IBA Health Group expects to double revenues after launching its new IT platform that provides access to patients' records at every stage of the healthcare process.

Until now, each doctor, hospital and laboratory had its own computer system, and records had to be posted or carried.

IBA chief executive Gary Cohen said the healthcare information company expected to more than double its revenue in the three years from fiscal 2010.

Mr Cohen said the market for IBA's Lorenzo health IT platform was in "the billions of dollars".

The system is part of the British National Health Service's $30billion IT project.

More here:,28124,24638240-36418,00.html

IBA is clearly pinning virtually all its hope on Lorenzo. There has been coverage all over the world. Hope it works out for those who work there and the shareholders! (Usual disclosure – I am one).

Fourth we have:

Europe aims to boost telemedicine

10 Nov 2008

New guidance to improve access to telemedicine for EU citizens and healthcare professionals across Europe has been published.

The European Commission telemedicine communication aims to increase and broaden telemedicine services, including diagnosis, treatment and monitoring at a distance across Europe.

The communication, which has been adopted by the Commission after two years of consultation, sets out ten proposed actions to promote telemedicine, including harmonization of standards and the removal of regulatory and legal barriers. Despite the potential benefits that telemedicine can provide, its use is still limited in most parts of the EU.

“Telemedicine can radically improve chronically ill patients' quality of life and give people access to top medical expertise. It is our duty to make sure patients and health professionals can benefit from it" said Viviane Reding, European Union Commissioner for Information Society and Media.

More here

The official web site is here:

The communication on Telemedicine

There is a huge portal covering EH E-Health activities which can be found here: Lots of interesting stuff indeed!

On a similar theme we have:

International eHealth Community

Monday, 10 November 2008

eHealthNews.EU Portal, a leading eHealth news web based platform with core competence and innovative strength in advancing the European eHealth Industry and Research domains, has launched a new project addressed to the International eHealth Community, named ''.

According to Viviane Reding's speech at World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition (WoHIT 2008), the global market for eHealth is estimated to have a potential value of €60 billion, of which Europe represents one third, i.e. €20 billion. eHealth can be considered the third largest European health industry, after pharmaceuticals valued at €205 billion (based on retail prices) and medical devices for which annual sales are estimated to be €64 billion. project's goals are the dissemination, awareness creation and advanced promotion activities addressed to the international eHealth Industry and Research domains. "By being enrolled for several years in the eHealth domain, I'm continuously receiving many requests and suggestions to reflect the international eHealth achievements in our European projects. As result, and of course by being based on our readers' guidance and suggestions I'm very proud to announce the project. I’m confident that in the nearest future it will have a recognizable voice on the International eHealth domain,” commented Ruslan David, MD, eHealthNews.EU Portal administrator. " is at the very beginning but it has already a solid background and wide experience on the European eHealth arena, however I look forward to exploring new partnerships and advanced collaboration opportunities with international eHealth professionals."

More here:

as well as reports of serious success here:

Danish Village gives WoHIT attendees a glimpse of healthcare IT done right

By Chip Means, Web Editor 11/07/08

It's no secret that Nordic countries are decades ahead of some of their European peers in healthcare IT infrastructure and development. Visitors to this year's World of Health IT show in Copenhagen were offered a look at Denmark's system, which relies on the Sundhed eHealth Portal to connect patients and providers.

An eye-catching fixture of the WoHIT exhibition floor was the Danish Village - a large, bright structure composed of several info stations mapping the flow of information through the Danish healthcare system. This flow largely depends on Sundhed, which 300,000 Danish patients use each month to manage their personal health records.

Sundhed, Denmark's first public personal ehealth portal, exists in three formats: An open, public internet room for discussion and general information; a closed portal for physicians to access patient records and consult privately; and a secure, personalized environment in which patients access their own health information and communicate with providers.

More here:

Clearly a lot happening!

Last for this week we have:

Feds report successful collaboration on NHIN interface

By Nancy Ferris

ublished on November 11, 2008

In a rare example of collaboration, six agencies have jointly developed an interface for the Nationwide Health Information Network, and they plan to make it available to the public as a free download in March 2009.

Vish Sankaran, director of the Federal Health Architecture program at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, said the agencies will use the interface when they participate in the NHIN demonstration in December. “This is no longer just talk,” he said.


The agencies that developed and are currently using the NHIN interface are the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments, the Social Security Administration, the Indian Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Cancer Institute.

Full article here:

All one can say is what a good idea! Wonder where such a interface could help in OZ?



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