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Free Software in Healthcare

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  • FDA unveils open source code for collecting patient data

    Apps and devices are everywhere. 2018 appears to be the year of voice technology pilots in healthcare. Medical data is exploding.

    Late last month at the HIMSS Connected Health Conference in Boston, in fact, it became evident that the market is so flooded with apps, devices, wearables and wellness tools that what’s needed is radical simplicity, if only so clinicians and consumers can better grasp their options.

    Despite all the technologies available, there is not yet a seamless way to tie patient-generated health information into larger datasets.

    The MyStudies code is neither intended to solve that problem entirely nor is it something many patients are likely to pick up on their own. Indeed, it’s too early to know how developers or researchers will use the code but they now have the technological underpinning to at least start integrating even small data sources.

  • The Influence of an Open Source Artificial Pancreas System

    Twitter data indicate that patient-driven innovation in diabetes management has resulted in a patient population with type 1 diabetes who choose to build and share knowledge around a do-it-yourself (DIY) open source artificial pancreas system (OpenAPS). OpenAPS is an open and transparent effort to make safe and effective basic artificial pancreas system technology widely available to anyone with compatible medical devices who is willing to build their own system.

    In a study published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, Michelle L. Litchman, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, and colleagues examined Twitter posts (with the hashtag #OpenAPS) to understand how patients, caregivers, and care partners perceive OpenAPS, the personal and emotional ramifications of using OpenAPS, and the influence of OpenAPS on daily life.“There is a distinct difference between diabetes management by a textbook and diabetes management in real life,” says Dr. Litchman. “We sought to understand how people with diabetes manage their condition in the real-world as it relates to OpenAPS.”

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