LinuxMedNews interviews new Medsphere CEO Michael Doyle

Those of us pursuing open source in healthcare IT always like to keep our eyes on what’s going at Medsphere and WorldVistA. It was great to see this interview with the new CEO of Medsphere.

These were my favorite questions:

LMN: It has been said that: “Medsphere could have been the “RedHat of Medical IT” that our community desperately needs. Instead they are the “Enron of Medical IT”.” because of the lawsuit against its founders Scott and Steve Shreeve. What are your thoughts on that?

MD: I can’t really comment on the lawsuit because it is an ongoing lawsuit. I’m not part of it and I will not be part of it. I hope that it gets settled soon. That’s the intent, or I hope that is the intent of all involved. I don’t know what you mean by Enron. I absolutely believe that this company has the ability to be the Redhat of Health IT.

LMN: Medsphere can play the Free/Open Source software card, reaping the goodwill of Free/Open Source while locking in customers by partially using proprietary products. What is your stance on this? Under your control will Medsphere be a ‘pure’ Free/Open Source company or a hybrid Free/Open Source and proprietary software company?

MD: It’s too early. I’ve been on the job for a week so it is too early to definitively answer that question. Most companies run a hybrid model. That’s something we are looking at. I have to spend some time researching this.

So, basically, he dodged the most important questions that have been keeping people from really embracing Medsphere. Lets hope Michael gets Medsphere back on track soon. There’s so much promise there.

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4 thoughts on “LinuxMedNews interviews new Medsphere CEO Michael Doyle

  1. I’m skeptical of any free/open source software, there is always a catch. The company will either use the hybrid model or skim some sort of information that can be used to turn a profit, although I would hope HIPAA is broad enough to stop this practice. As an example of this I’ll use G-Mail, Google’s free e-mail service. There was quite a stink made when the service was launched in April of 2004 about the fact that to make ad revenue off the service, Google would scan all a person’s emails to see what ads would be relevant. Would it be so far fetched to conceive of a company using similar methods of “passive” scanning of files to create a sort of direct to consumer tool for say pharmaceuticals?

  2. I find it very hard to believe that the OpenVista platform is going to be acceptable to HIPAA standards.

    I applaud them for what they are trying to do. I dont think anyone could argue that the mainstream access and economies of scale their information access would provide are valuable to most professions. However, we all know how slow the wheels turn with HIPAA and private patient information.

    A true dichotomy exists where the internet is pushing the limits of accessibilty and speed, while legislative policies regarding patient records are becoming tighter and tighter. I dont see this gaining traction anytime soon.


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