IMIA OS WG has been formed in 2002 with the objective to focus on educational, promotional and 'evangelistic' activities to raise awareness of open source software in health care. The primary objectives of the IMIA OS WG are to:
"Being the scientific biomedical informatics association through which the world's knowledge leaders come together to effectively and efficiently create, assemble, integrate, synthesize or assimilate intellectual knowledge..." [Lorenzi 2007], IMIA is ideally suited as a hub in a network of networks and organizations already active in diverse regional contexts. Further the strategic plan highlights IMIA's role as informatics association that"effectively and efficiently connects people and the nations of the world" to bring together from a global perspective, scientists, researchers, users, vendors, developers, consultants and suppliers in an environment of cooperation and sharing to research and develop the concepts needed to support the organizations of the world seeking technology as transformational.
IMIA OS WG intends to foster FLOSS in health care by working align to a strategy that is modeled after IMIA's conceptual framework outlined in the IMIA strategic plan:
FLOSS is also ideally suited for education and capacity building. Because FLOSS is freely available it can be used in schools and universities to train health professionals without the burden of license costs. A particular advantage is in the area of medical informatics education. The best way to acquire programming skills is to actively participate in the development of a system. By having access to the full source code of a system and being able to modify, extend and run the system students have the best environment to learn software development and system design.
Based on these 5 steps IMIA OS WG is committed to serve the community and to contribute to the development of high quality IT solutions at affordable costs and to develop new models of health care delivery based on this open collaborative approach.
Being aware of many other valuable initiatives and projects with similar goals and at the same time being a group of volunteers IMIA OS WG tries to accomplish these goals in serving as a hub in a network of networks. Parts of the goals defined in the 5 steps may be carried out by groups outside of IMIA or other WGs like EFMI LIFOSS WG. In accordance with the core principle of open source “Don’t reinvent the wheel” IMIA OS WG will not work on issues already covered by other groups but will try to integrate these activities in a larger network. As a global association IMIA is committed to serve all regions of the world. Being aware that work on a global scale is complicated, IMIA OS WG will work together with regional groups, either inside of IMIA or outside of IMIA that work towards the same goals in a specific region. This could be for instance the local OS WGs like EFMI LIFOSS WG or AMIA OS WG. IMIA OS WG encourages interested IMIA members in regions that do not have a FLOSS WG to set up a regional group or cooperate with regional groups dedicated to FLOSS-HC. IMIA OS WG is further committed to work together with other IMIA WGs. One example is IMIA Health Informatics for Development Working Group HI4Dev WG. Other IMIA WGs are invited to cooperate with IMIA OS WG in there specific area.
IMIA OS WG is open to all people that support the ideas of free/libre open source software in health care. We would like to invite people that are willing to actively engage in or support the objectives of IMIA OS WG to register on our MedFLOSS.org site.
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