Open Health: Improving health the open source way

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Welcome to the Health channel on

The stories we share and bring to life here are inspired by health innovation happening around the globe. We highlight how the principles of open source—transparency, information-sharing, community-building, and collaboration—are playing a vital role in the new ways people are thinking about health.

Recently, we have seen more global effort toward greater transparency in health. A few examples—

  • A program that proposes patient access to doctors’ notes in hopes of better patient health
  • A company that aims to cast light on medical costs so we can all know what we are really spending
  • A federal menu labeling provision mandating calorie labeling on menus in effort to help people make informed food choices

The government is leading the cause toward better information sharing though efforts like the Direct Project, which aims to bring health records sharing into the modern age, and the Blue Button project, which allows patients access to and ability to share their own medical records.

Individuals around the world are building communities and social networks focused on health and medicine. Many people, especially those with chronic conditions, are going online to find others who share their health concerns on sites like And even more are using existing online social networks to reach out to peers for health information and advice.

We are even seeing historically competitive groups come together in collaborations like the Open Source Drug Development initiaitive, where pharma companies are working together for a common cause: to find new drugs that fight against tropical diseases like malaria and tuberculosis.

We invite you to share your perspective here too. Tell us your stories. What ways have you seen transparency, collaboration, community, and sharing work to improve health around the world?

We look forward to your contributions.

Join the open health conversation

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Lori Mehen is an Account Manager in Brand Communications + Design at Red Hat. She grew up in Los Angeles, CA and now resides in Durham, NC with her husband and three kids. Lori enjoys water skiing, cooking and car racing.

1 Comment

Somewhat tangential to this discussion is the presence of the Fedora Medical SIG : who intend to understand the workflows involved in healthcare communities and desire to create a spin that would be useful.

Along with collaborative spaces like

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