Possibly not the first item you think about when you wake up in the mornings, open-source healthcare IT is, nonetheless, worth keeping on your screen, so to speak.  The Los Angeles Westin at LAX will be the locus on February 20 for the 3rd Annual conference on “Demonstrating Open-Source Healthcare Solutions” (http://www.dohcs.org/location) that may offer docs, clinics, hospitals, healthcare buying co-ops, and others a way to save money, keep better records, tie into the National Health Information Network, and enhance patient data security.

The names involved here are not household brands.  Possibly one of the best known sponsors is Carlsbad, CA-based Medsphere Systems Corp (http://www.medsphere.com/company/about), a promising VC-backed company that considers itself “the leading provider of open source software for the healthcare industry.”  Its backers include some pretty well-known names: Azure Capital Partners (http://www.azurecap.com/), Thomas Weisel Venture Partners (http://www.twvp.com/) and the Salt Lake City-based EPIC Ventures (http://epicvc.com/), which is the new name of the former Wasatch Venture Fund.

But Medsphere is not the only sponsor.  Others include Chandler, AZ-based ClearHealth Inc (http://www.clear-health.com/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/), whose motto is “Take back control of your future and your budget with ClearHealth.”   OpenClinica (http://akazaresearch.com/OpenClinica/) , is an open-source platform for clinical research developed by Cambridge, MA-based Akaza Research (http://akazaresearch.com/about_akaza/index.html).  And Irvine, CA-based WebReach Inc (http://www.webreachinc.com/) makes special-purpose interface devices for healthcare applications. 

OK, maybe not as exciting as the new James Bond movie, but squarely in the cross-hairs of reining in medical costs, an already-stated major goal of the Obama administration.

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