Free/Open Source Software and Health Care: Benefits and Challenges
Dr. Anu Guptax
Health care occupies an important place in every country. Information technology (IT) can play a vital role to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care. But there are several hiccups in wide spread usage of Information technology in health care domain. In such a case Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) provides an opportunity that allows the entire Internet community to use its combined programming knowledge, creativity and expertise to develop software, which could render benefits to whole community without involving cost and proprietary issues. The current paper outlines the general model of F/OSS development and highlights the features of few F/OSS products usable in health care. The benefits offered by F/OSS are very important in terms of flexibility, no licensing issue, negligible cost etc. These have encouraged organizations to adopt F/OSS products.
Free software, F/OSS, Health Care, Open Source.
 World Health Organization Report, 2000, "Why do health systems matter?"