Agfa HealthCare (Belgium), InterComponentWare (Germany), and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) have signed the foundation charter of the new Open eHealth Foundation, an Open Source healthcare IT initiative. According to the foundation, it plans to provide software components under an Open Source license that will boost the open standards-based exchange of medical information.
The founding members of the Open eHealth Foundation have recognized the necessity to:
- Create a worldwide community-driven software development platform to speed up the digitization of the healthcare industry.
- Enable members and healthcare organizations to create compelling solutions based on existing global clinical and administrative standards, and increase interoperability with a wide array of third-party components and platforms.
Specifically, the foundation aims to leverage existing open source projects to develop a platform that enables its members and health organizations to build free open source software components and reference implementations to help achieve a high degree of semantic interoperability in the global eHealth sector based on open standards. In this process, the Open eHealth Foundation says it will not develop new standards for interoperability.