Federal Open Source Is Messy – And That's OK
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User Rank: Apprentice
8/15/2014 | 1:18:42 PM
Re: Pillbox sounds great but...

Hi Alison,

We completely agree with your comment and we would love to work with them to make it better. David Carr has written about our application – ZibdyHealth and you can try for yourself. We have built a database based on barcodes and it summaries relevant information about the medication. Drug monographs are great but in 3 years I have come across only 2 persons who claim to read them diligently. We have about 600,000 products in it but this is an ongoing effort for us so we constantly add more drugs into our database.

David thanks for adding the link to the video in your article. It is very telling but I was a bit disappointed after watching it. They have only 2000 drug images and only 100 provided by the manufacturers. To identify drugs based on images, there are three different criteria – color, shape and imprint. Around 7 minute mark, first two – color and shape were discounted completely and it was suggested that they do not have way to search for imprint yet. How many seniors can even read this imprint?

IHMO, there are plenty of solutions which exist for healthcare professionals, we need to make it simple for an average person.

User Rank: Author
8/11/2014 | 12:05:26 PM
Pillbox sounds great but...
I wonder how Pillbox's timeline compares with other, free medication-search databases available via web or app? It's a great idea and tool -- but I'd love to know whether they considered using a third-party database or, at least, partnering with a company that had already done all the legwork on this tool? That's why I wonder about the timing: This agency could well have been first and, if so, wouldn't it have been great if they sold the rights and poured the resulting money back into the agency or IT?
User Rank: Ninja
8/9/2014 | 6:12:54 PM
Good thing
It is a good thing that the governnment is leveraging open source.

But in the respect for reducing federal waste, I wonder if there should be some better guidelines to make completely sure that each project serves a particular mission or goal. There should be some standards, at least. This will be necessary at some point. 

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