Readers weigh in on…

Re: Canadian developers grade 64-bit Windows (April 26)

Upon reading this article, it occurred to me that it is most incomplete on the hardware side. In the article only Intel is indicated

to run the various x64 Editions of Windows.

I would like to point out on the server front especially, AMD has more attractive offerings, which will be available through HP and IBM, in the form of dual-core 64-bit powered servers. It does not serve the general audience of these articles to omit this.

Scott Peron

Sarah Lysecki responds: The <a href= from the previous day mentioned that Microsoft shipped a test version of 64-bit Windows with AMD’s debut of Athlon 64 processors in 2003.

Re: E-health experts won’t use open source in records projects (May 3)

I read your article on open source systems that some would like to see considered for health records. I am glad these open source systems are not even being considered. Privacy is so paramount that whatever system is finally developed needs to be so secure that even banks will want to adopt the proprietary system. The Canadian Healthcare database that is developed in my opinion MUST be proprietary and secure. Part of the success of a secure program is not telling anyone what you did to achieve the security because we all know creative minds can hack it even if they have a little bit of information.

Just as doctors must take the Hippocratic Oath, individuals on this project should be sworn to secrecy by taking a HIPPATIC or PIPEDATIC Oath. Sounds ludicrous, but it is symbolic of the importance that privacy takes on in this project.

After years of marketing the importance of Electronic Medical Records and keeping them extremely private, I am glad that our government is considering these crucial concepts as it moves forward. Otherwise shadows of 1984 would reverberate all over every one of us.

Bruce Weese
Marketing Manager, CMO / CIO
Universal Medical History & Information (Medi-Call) Inc.

Re: Alternative software isn’t mature enough, Infoway CEO says (May 4)

Your article on Infoway and Open Source was a very interesting read, especially as a member of our team spurred the discussion by posing the question at e-health 2005.

We were somewhat disappointed by the response of Infoway on open source. They stated that the products were not as refined as some of the commercial projects. They can be, in fact, quite different in that you can have developmental rigor using any of a number of development methods AND use an open source license to share your work.

If Infoway was to adopt an Open Source model, that they would in fact encourage the adoption of standards and the EHR in Canada.

This would seem to be a more effective way of spreading standards. By first defining those standards and then providing the core, interoperable building blocks to the development community the standard is more easily adopted. This would reduce the work of the vendors and ensure that those components were built to the specification with all the rigor necessary for health care.

If you look through the Spring 2005 Infoway Standards Newsletter (available at the Infoway home page you will see that IRIS, their Infoway Reference Implementation Suite, is in fact on sourceforge. It has been released under the open source Academic Free License (most recent code release Feb 2, 2005).

Morgan Price, MD, CCFP
University of British Columbia
Department of Family Practice
Lead Faculty for Informatics

Re: CATA fights Public Works call for reduced supplier fees (May 4)

I haven’t seen the referenced letter of April 5, but this news item seems very accusatorial. The Canadian government is providing taxpayers some much-needed release and asks for industry co-operation — what an outrage, eh?

According to the article, PWGSC is “”seeking a reduction… of 10 per cent.”” That doesn’t sound all that “”mandatory”” to me. To be sure, if you don’t reduce and another company does, you may no longer be competitive. I’m not an economist but what gives Canadian companies the right to win contracts without being competitive? And what of the well-known habit of more than a few companies inflating their rates when dealing with the government?

Nearly anyone in Canada can start a company and say they are a supplier of a certain product. They go crying to the government for aid when market conditions say, “”Die, company, die!”” Canadians and the businesses they run have far too high a dependency on government. It is not without some truth that much of the rest of the world considers Canadians to be flaming socialists.

Bruce Edwardes

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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