“A collaborative forum to promote and facilitate open source software in human and veterinary healthcare”

OSHCA is where supporters of the following values and principles can get together.

The Open Source Approach

OSHCA promotes the open source concept as it is defined by Software in the Public Interest (http://www.opensource.org). The following key characteristics of the open source approach motivate its use in healthcare:

  • The development process is driven by user needs
  • The development focuses on producing usable results
  • The development process has an unprecedented flexibility, ability to react to changing needs, and adaptability to various environments
  • Open source promotes the rapid spread of innovation
  • Open source promotes the reuse of components, collaborative development, and resouce sharing
  • Minimizing license fees gives users more options for using their budgets, such are for improved support and training
  • Open source health products are accessible to developing countries
  • Open source developments are highly dynamic and have their own life; they cannot be controlled by any single organization (commercial enterprise, policy maker, etc.)
  • Open source principles enable business models that are innovative, stable, and sustainable
  • Open source supports innovation in policy making
  • The transparency of open source software facilitates peer review and better quality assurance


OSHCA promotes open source software in healthcare in various ways:

  • Creates awareness and understanding of the open source model and its benefits
  • Encourages the sharing of educational and promotional material
  • Helps policy makers, commercial enterprises, and users to take advantage of the open source model
  • Promotes and helps the formation of development consortia for healthcare related projects
  • Solicits membership from strategic organizations
  • Helps projects find funding and reach critical mass


The various aspects include:

  • Creates a forum that facilitates the formation of new projects that are driven by user needs and social concerns
  • Encourages early peer reviews in projects
  • Encourages interoperability and adherance to standards through education
  • Facilitates technical collaboration and encourages the reuse of ideas and components
  • Encourages the identification and resolution of issues related to open source software
  • Helps individuals and organizations overcome social, structural, and economic barriers to the adoption of open source in healthcare


Promote a globally sustainable approach

Open source software has global application. OSHCA will encourace approaches that seek active participation by users, developers, and policy makers from all parts of the world.

Stay lightweight and flexible

In the spirit of open source where development is user and needs driven, facilitation needs to support highly desirable dynamism, adaptability, and flexibility. This approach seeks to facilitate natural processes that produce unprecedented quality, usability, and cost effectiveness.

Be open to diverse opinions and technologies

OSHCA is inclusive of all healthcare-related open source activities. In an open source world, the success of an idea, standard, or product is measured by its practical use.

Ethical Deployment

OSHCA’s focus is the the legal and ethical deployment of reliable and robust open source systems in all areas of healthcare. This means meeting or exceeding current standards and working with legislative bodies to encourage the inclusion of open source principals in their policies.