Friday, March 16th, marked the release of CONNECT 3.3, an open source product that enables health information exchange, securely, across the Internet. This product is used by Health Information Exchange (HIE) organizations, hospitals, healthcare institutions, and government agencies around the world. The release of CONNECT 3.3 is important news to healthcare, as the software helps the country achieve the goal of sharing medical information to improve healthcare and lower costs. CONNECT’s release also was a big day for several of us at 5AM Solutions. For nearly the past year, several colleagues and I have been working tirelessly on the CONNECT project, which is a program of the Federal Health Architecture (FHA), an E-Government initiative managed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. Assembling and implementing the varied requirements of several government agencies, the open source community, and standards bodies sometimes led to late nights and long days. We enjoyed the work and the people we got to work with, but being a software engineer often means that you are down in the trenches, which can cause you to lose perspective on the big picture of what you are working on. After the release last week, we had the opportunity to lift our heads up and once again look at what CONNECT really means to healthcare.
Up at 5AM: The 5AM Solutions Blog
Earlier this summer, I drove down to the Southeast Linux Fest in Spartanburg, South Carolina. One of the talks that stood out to me was given by Heather Holl, bioinformaticist and Slackware Linux team member. She talked about the open source tools she uses most in her work in equine genomics. I was especially impressed at how she used standard, open source Linux command-line tools to get her job done.