Tag Archives: FLOSS

Die WhatsApp-Alternative, auf die wir alle gewartet haben?

Vor einiger Zeit ging ein Aufschrei der Empörung durch die WhatsApp-Nutzerbasis, als Facebook den Dienst gekauft hatte. Es blieb beim Aufschrei.

Vielleicht auch, weil es keine vertrauenswürdigen und brauchbaren Alternativen gab. Vertrauenswürdig, weil die Software den Grundsätzen von Freier Software und Open Source folgt und die Kommunikation Ende-zu-Ende verschlüsselt ist. Brauchbar, weil man damit plattformübergreifend, zumindest zwischen Android und iOS, mit seinen Freunden kommunizieren kann, neben Text auch Bilder und Videos austauschen kann und nicht zu vernachlässigen Gruppenchats unterstützt werden.

Mit dem Release von Signal 2.0 für iOS scheint diese lang ersehnte Alternative nun endlich verfügbar zu sein. Die App entstammt dem Community-Projekt Open Whispersystems. Dieses hatte vor einiger Zeit bereits das entsprechende Pendant für Android veröffentlicht. Auch wenn die Apps auf der jeweiligen Plattform noch unterschiedliche Namen führen, lässt sich damit trotzdem plattformübergreifend verschlüsselt kommunizieren:

Continue reading Die WhatsApp-Alternative, auf die wir alle gewartet haben?

HowTo: Installing Yosemite into VirtualBox

This post should give a quick overview and some background on how to install Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite in VirtualBox version 4.3.22.

VirtualBox is great because it is probably the only free and open source software based virtualization environment that supports most common platforms (like GNU/Linux, Windows, and Macintosh) and where the virtual machines are portable in case you want to switch the host’s operating system.

Continue reading HowTo: Installing Yosemite into VirtualBox

Email encryption

As more and more people want to encrypt their personal communication to preserve and to protect their privacy, this post should give a quick introduction and some useful hints regarding email encryption based on OpenPGP.

First of all: It may initially look like being quite complicated. The available guide will require some thorough reading. But in the end it is not that complex and absolutely worth the effort. As soon as one is familiar with the basic concepts and techniques it will be nothing more than locking/unlocking your front door. And probably you did not yet remove your door lock for reasons of simplicity?

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Automatically generating image galleries based on Galleria.io

As you might have noticed all image galleries of this blog are meanwhile based on the Galleria.io framework.

Galleria.io is great because it is Free/Libre Software (MIT-licensed), simply does what it is supposed to do, and requires not yet another plugin for WordPress nor a database backend. It also supports mobile devices and its typical touch gestures. Furthermore it enables self-hosted galleries and does not require to rely on any cloud services where you might loose control on your data.

The only thing that I was missing was a straight forward way to automatically generate a gallery. Creating it by hand – as for example described in Galleria.io’s “Beginners Guide” – is time-consuming, cumbersome, and error-prone. So the overall idea was to create a ready-to-run Galleria.io gallery based on a given folder that contains just the image files by using a shell script.

In detail I wanted to have the following functionality:
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Use of Open Source Software in Health Care Delivery – Results of a Qualitative Field Study

The article about my previous research has finally been published in the IMIA Yearbook 2013. It is meant to provide a practitioner’s perspective on the use of medical free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) in clinical routine. In this context I examined and presented the opinions and experiences of chief information officers (CIO) working at larger hospitals. The abstract reads like this:

Objectives: To assess and analyze the attitude of health IT executives towards the utilization of specialized medical Open Source software (OSS) in Germany’s and other European countries’ health care delivery.

Methods: After an initial literature review a field study was carried out based on semi-structured expert interviews. Eight German and 11 other European health IT executives were surveyed. The results were qualitatively analyzed using the grounded theory approach. Identified concepts were reviewed using SWOT analysis.

Results: In total, 13 strengths, 11 weaknesses, 3 opportunities, and 8 threats of the utilization of OSS in a clinical setting could be identified. Additionally, closely related aspects like general software procurement criteria, the overall attitude of health IT executives, users, and management towards OSS and its current and future use could as well be assessed.

Conclusions: Medical OSS is rarely used in health care delivery. In order to capitalize the unique advantages of OSS in a clinical setting, complex requirements need to be addressed. Short-comings of OSS describe an attractive breeding ground for new commercial offerings and services that need yet to be seen.

Schmuhl, H., Heinze, O., & Bergh, B. (2013). Use of Open Source Software in Health Care Delivery – Results of a Qualitative Field Study. Contribution of the EFMI LIFOSS Working Group. Yearbook of medical informatics, 8(1), 107–13.

The full text article available via: Apfelkraut.org | PubMed | Schattauer

I am looking forward to your feedback!

Medical FLOSS repository: an update from Medfloss.org

As you might know Medfloss.org (formerly medfoss.apfelkraut.org) tries to provide a comprehensive and structured overview of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects for the health care domain.

Medical FLOSS repository at www.medfloss.org

After the initial launch 6 months ago it recently welcomed the 200th project in its repository: the GPL-licensed iDART software – iDART is the abbreviation of “Intelligent Dispensing of Antiretroviral Treatment” and according to its authors addresses many of the challenges faced by public ART dispensing pharmacies in developing countries.

Starting with originally just 120 projects, the medfloss.org database currently holds:

… and much more useful information.

My cordial thanks goes to all the contributors that already made and hopefully will continue to make use of the open content concept by revising/extending existing information or adding new content!

For more information about the site and its objectives please refer to the mission statement or these slides. Beside amendments to the actual content I also highly appreciate any general feedback about the site, offered functionality and shortcomings of it.

Share your experiences with FLOSS in health care

Are you a practice, clinic or any other health care institution that is using medical open source software in daily routine? And wasn’t it quite hard for you to find the right software, to get it up and running and to finally customize it to your needs without having any experienced users or reference sites at hand?

Even a high number of downloads or a strong ‘activity percentile’ of an open source software project doesn’t tell you anything about the suitability for your purposes and in general about the stability and efficiency that are required for successful clinical practice.

But what if you could see on a per-project basis at which site it is already deployed and even whom you could contact and ask for advice and personal experiences?

Continue reading Share your experiences with FLOSS in health care