Thats right, Agfa HealthCare, InterComponentWare (ICW) and Sun Microsystems have joined as foundation members of the new Open eHealth Foundation, an open-source initiative for the healthcare IT arena.
The objectives of the Foundation (as stated in their web site) is;
“To develop software components and reference implementations as free Open Source software that can help achieve a high level of semantic interoperability in the eHealth field. The software components can be used in existing or newly developed products to increase their interoperability and to integrate them into the new, networked eHealth world with little expense and effort.”
The Open eHealth Foundation have no intention develop new standards for interoperability but rather, the foundation intends to leverage existing open source projects to develop a platform that enables its members and health organizations to build free, open-source software components and reference implementations to help achieve a semantic interoperability in the global eHealth sector based on open standards. Some of the componets already available (contributed by the foundation members) are Security, Single Sign-On, Enterprise Service Bus, SOA Governance and Registry/Repository.
Having said that, the website states that the Open Source license used by the Open eHealth Foundation allows for the free use of the components of the Open eHealth Foundation in commercial products without these products themselves having to be offered as Open Source.
Not a bad idea that all.