Open Source refers to any programs or tools that are made available for other users to use or do modification as per the developer’s needs. Any open-source software is usually developed as a public collaboration and is made freely available. ‘Source Code’ is a certain code that is a part of a computer program and is permitted to be used only by computer programmers to add features, change the software, fix any problems, legally copy, inspect and alter the software. However open-source software deploys publicly accessible code, allowing constant engagement with a vast developer community.
Healthcare IT practitioners choose from options such as open-source tools, licensed vendor tools, hybrid software environment or in-house tools to fulfill their operational requirements. Among these options, the most affordable and accessible solution is open-source tools as they are well-designed, reliable and constantly evolving due to many suggestions and changes from overall collaboration.
Even though open-source tools are handy and useful, Healthcare IT practitioners must be careful and properly understand every benefit and challenges of this technology. Parameters such as scalability, need for commercialization, price, required support, and security are some of the many factors that help them stakeholders take the right decision.
In India, the most worrying problem in the healthcare industry is the severely unbalanced doctor-patient ratio and many more problems that add to the burden is the responsibility of handling patient data and managing workflow, staff, and operations. Thus to tackle such problems, open-source tools can be used to automate standard processes that will significantly benefit both doctors and patients. we can learn from the Uk companies that have already started utilizing open source technologies to build products that can help general practitioners (GPs) to manage challenges such as working extended hours, increasing operating costs and consequently, declining incomes. The adoption of open-source tools to handle healthcare processes in India can have a drastic effect on the overall capacity of the country to deliver patients healthcare.
India has an enormous, comprehensive IT sector that requires up-to-the-minute functionality to create and implement open-source tools as required. With comprehensive domain research and analysis, Indian GPs will in time learn to embrace open-source and efficiently simplify their business operations, delivering the best quality patient care.