Open Source Needs Health Care Coverage
Dozens of traditional IT companies — from Cisco Systems to Xerox — are generating PR coverage at this week’s huge HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) conference in Orlando. But so far, only a few savvy firms — such as IGEL Technology — are weaving open source messaging into this prominent vertical market event. Translation: The open source industry may miss yet another opportunity to prove its vertical market expertise.
First, let’s look at the big picture. A quick check of the news wires this morning revealed major healthcare-related statements from:
- Avnet (the big distributor is promoting its healthcare ISVs)
- Cisco (mobile healthcare)
- Dell (partnering on patient care systems)
- IBM (Virtual healthcare on Second Life)
- Lawson Software (more than 100 healthcare providers are using its mobile applications)
- Nortel and Polycom (TelePresence for hospitals)
- Xerox (document management for healthcare)
Of course, not all of the releases are compelling. Plenty of companies throw useless information out on the news wires in lame attempts to generate noise.
But this is HIMSS, the biggest health care IT event of the year. Any IT company that has healthcare expertise needs to associate its name with this event.
Yes, there’s still plenty of time for open source companies to chase this ambulance. The HIMSS event runs through February 28 in Orlando.
Some open source companies — such as Red Hat — understand the value of vertical market messaging and have joined HIMSS. But you don’t have to be a big open source voice to make noise at HIMSS.
Thin client specialist IGEL Technology, for one, says it has partnered with Philips Speech Recognition Systems to bring digital dictation and speech recognition solutions to its Linux firmware. Healthcare is among the system’s target markets.
Other open source companies would be wise to crank up their vertical marketing efforts. Their current silence at HIMSS and complete silence at January 2008 retail trade show reveal that most open source companies have yet to discover the power of vertical market trade shows.