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IBM Adds Patents To Open Source Pool

This is worth watching.  If there are two aspects of life in the US which are profoundly messed up, and at the same time have the potential to be improved mightily by technology, it's healthcare and education.  I hope that this  results in more than just a PR win. 

I would very much like to see the initiative address the development of standardized electronic health record networks.  Not just as a means of improving our standard of healthcare, but as a security measure in the face of potential pandemics like a mutated H5N1 avian flu, or more insidious, intentional use of bio-warfare.

Link: InformationWeek > Open Source > IBM Adds Patents To Open Source Pool > October 24, 2005.

IBM has unveiled an initiative to improve interoperability and access through open source software standards.

Under the initiative, announced Monday, the company is pledging royalty-free access to its patent portfolio for development and implementation of selected open healthcare and education software standards built around web services, electronic forms and open document formats.

The company stated that growth and service delivery in healthcare and education is stunted by a proliferation of incompatible formats and proprietary technology, making it difficult to find, retrieve and share standardized medical records and educational resources.

The new initiative could spur worldwide development of standardized electronic health record networks, supporting the protection, privacy and security of health information through open, interoperable technologies, according to IBM.

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