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Interviews on open source with HHS contractors Brian Behlendorf and Arien Malec

From Apache to Health and Human Services:
Apache co-founder Brian Behlendorf discusses the CONNECT health data project

Brian Behlendorf, one of the founders of the Apache Web server project
and the CollabNet cooperative
software development company, is contracting now with the Department
of Health and Human Services on a software project they opened up a
year ago under the name
. CONNECT helps
hospitals and agencies exchange medical data, which gives doctors
critical information to improve patient care.

Brian, along with project leader David Riley, will

at O’Reilly’s Open Source
about the importance of CONNECT and the way they and
their colleagues built a robust community of government staff,
volunteers, and health care IT vendors around it.

In a nineteen-minute interview with Andy Oram, O’Reilly editor, Brian

  • The role of health data in promoting quality in the care of the
    individual patient, in improving our knowledge of what works, and in
    reducing health care costs.

  • How HHS is trying to improve the exchange of patient data for
    hospitals and doctors, agencies monitoring quality of care, and
    eventually patients themselves.
  • How, with Brian’s help, HHS opened up the CONNECT project, attracted
    both volunteers and vendors to help improve it, and created a
    community that felt a sense of community identity and ownership of the project.


patient data meaningful use
NHIN Direct’s Arien Malec on open community and data exchange standards

Arien Malec is coordinator of NHIN
, a new open-source effort sponsored by the Department of
Health and Human Services to improve health care by facilitating the
secure exchange of patient data. Arien has led a uniquely open,
community-based project to define standards for NHIN Direct, and is
also a highly visible representative of the Administration in health

In a 27-minute interview, Arien talks about:

  • The difficulties faced by doctors trying to send and receive the
    data needed to treat patients properly.

  • The learning process that HHS went through in deciding NHIN Direct
    was needed, and the process they went through to develop the standards
    in the Internet’s “rough consensus and running code” fashion.

  • Why privacy concerns make communication standards in health care
    more difficult than e-commerce.

  • What kinds of applications and services should be facilitated by
    NHIN Direct.

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