Medical Student Interested in Open Source Medical Records

I recently read your article on CNN. First of all I want to say I’m sorry to hear about your diagnoses of a low-grade glioma, but I am glad to hear about it currently being in remission. I think your idea of open source medical records is genius, and it is something that I have been wanting to get involved in for quite some time now.

Just so you get a brief idea of who I am and why I am interested I’ll tell you a little about myself. My name is ******. I am an American medical student and graduated bio-engineer. I started my education in computer engineering and dabbled in a few open source projects (linux and Ogre3D) but decided to switch into medicine after I got my EMT permit. While I still am extremely interested in medicine, through my medical education I have come to realize just how conservative medical institutions are (not politically right-winged just resistant change), and just how much the general population’s health could benefit from adaptability within the medical profession.

I think that open source medical records is the solution to this, and a lot of problems in medicine. The fact that there are literally thousands of different medical record formats – digital and paper – is indicative of just how unorganized our health actually is (speaking for America). I also believe that privacy is overrated when it comes to healthcare. Yes there are certainly things that you don’t want to display, but as electronic banking has shown, if you create a secure system than you can most certainly safely make certain information private. I have a lot of ideas as to how to implement a secure open source medical system that would be extremely beneficial for the public (both from my engineering background and my current medical knowledge). However, I have limited time as a student and can only pursue ideas as collaborations.

I would be extremely interested in starting a conversation with you about this topic. It is something that I am very passionate about. I wish you the best in your battle with cancer. As I’m sure you know, you have got the wheels turning on a new way to view medicine and can help a lot of people.