Sunday, October 28, 2007

Some viral videos

You have probably seen the 'Machine is us/ing us' video that shows the movement from text to hypertext to today's social networks - if not, you can find the latest version on YouTube at >>> There are plenty of other versions around too, and it was produced by Michael Wesch and his 'Digital Ethnography' group at Kansas State University, USA.

It has spun off many similar videos, the most recent one I have come across is called 'A vision of students today' - it is by Wesch and his students and is also on YouTube >>>. Interestingly, it has provoked widely differing reactions from colleagues, from "sad and left me not knowing what to do to reach these individuals" to "Pretty powerful stuff". Decide for yourself - you might also be interested in the transcription and discussion at

Sunday, October 21, 2007

This week must be Vienna

Peter Murray, and a number of other members of CHIRAD and BCS Health Informatics Forum, wil be in Vienna, Austria this week for the 'World of health IT' event (

I will be blogging the event, although probably mainly on a couple of other blogs, so keep an ee on them - or you can check the 'uCru6' widget that aggregates posts from our various blogs. As BCS are funding the trip, many of the posts will be on the 'Release Zero' blog.

More later in the week; this post from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.

Friday, September 21, 2007

IMIA Web 2.0 taskforce

Peter Murray is co-leading the new IMIA (International Medical Informatics Association - Web 2.0 Exploratory Taskforce.

See the post of Informaticopia for more information ( >>> ) or go directly to the Taskforce portal -

Monday, September 17, 2007

South Africa and London

CHIRAD members Graham Wright and John Bryant are teaching this week in Mthatha, South Africa, on the MSc in Health Informatics (>>>) (>>>).

Today (17 September), Peter Murray is attending the KIDMM 'Metaknowledge mashup' day at BCS HQ in London. He will be blogging 'live' throughout the day - posts can be found on the BCS blogs site at his 'Release Zero' blog -

Monday, September 10, 2007

Portable apps

The Suite™ looks good >>>. It is "a collection of portable apps including a web browser, email client, office suite, calendar/scheduler, instant messaging client, antivirus, ... all preconfigured to work portably".

It has several versions, and can be installed to portables devices (such as USB/flash drives):
* Base: 0.7MB (download), 1MB (installed)
* Lite: 30.4MB (download), ~105MB (installed)
* Standard: 89.5MB (download), ~260MB (installed)

And it is all under Free / Open Source (Mozilla apps: MPL, Others: GPL) Licenses.

We'll post a review here when we've played with it a bit.

After medinfo2007

All too quickly, medinfo2007 has been and gone. Blogging from the event proved to be more challenging than we had expected - Internet access in Australia is nowhere near as cheap and readily available as we have come to expect in other places we have travelled to, or here in the UK.

CHIRAD members did contribute various blog posts, which can be found on Informaticopia and the blog. If anyone has additional comments, please feel free to add them to the existing posts. If you have photos you would like to share, then contact us about how to do this (ie, don't just email them to us).

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The great trek to medinfo2007

The great trek to medinfo2007 has started. Some CHIRAD members set off on their journeys today, and others will be setting off over the next week or so.

We hope to blog here, and elsewhere, about the event and share experiences with those not fortunate enough to be able to get to medinfo2007. More later.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

IMIA OSWG meeting at medinfo2007

The 2007 business meeting of the IMIA Open Source Working Group ( >>>) will take place as follows:

Sunday, 19 August 2007, from 5:30 - 7:30pm

Venue: Room P3, Brisbane Convention Centre, Australia
(in conjunction with medinfo2007)

Agenda to be advised later.

Apologies to colleagues who won't be at medinfo2007.

All queries to imia.oswg[at]

Sixth LinuxMedNews Award nominations open

As reported by Ignacio Valdes on Linux Medical News (, nominations are officially open for the 6th annual Linux Medical News Freedom Award. Deadline for nominations is August 24th, 2007 and the Award will be presented at the November 10th-14th AMIA Fall conference at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Deadline for entries is August 24th, 2007. [This is NOT an officially sponsored award or event of AMIA.]

This award is co-sponsored by the IMIA Open Source Working Group. This award is intended to honor the individual or project who has accomplished the most towards the goal of improving medical education and practice through free/open source medical software. The award winner is chosen by a panel of judges.

Full details are on Linux Medical News.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Open access developments

Two new developments today from the world of open access publishing:

- BioMed Central has introduced a new information portal calling attention to the developing world's need for open access to the scientific and medical literature. It can be accessed at:
As part of the launch, BioMed Central is inviting researchers and others working in developing countries to share their stories about how open access to the online research literature is changing their work.

- BioMed Central has also created a custom button for the Google Toolbar, to make finding open access research from BioMed Central’s research even easier. See

CHIRAD supports moves to develop open access and signed up early to the Budapest Open Access Initiative -

Friday, July 20, 2007

CHIRAD at Buck House

CHIRAD Directors Dr Helen Betts and Prof. Graham Wright yesterday (19 July) attended the Queen's Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, in London.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

SINI2007 week

The main SINI (Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics, University of Maryland School of Nursing) starts on Wednesday 18 July - tomorrow (Monday 16 July) sees the start of pre-conference workshops.

CHIRAD members Peter Murray and Scott Erdley will be blogging from SINI2007 - we hope to try out some podcasts, vodcasts, etc as well.

See the SINI2007 blog at:
Main SINI website (School of Nursing) is at:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Two interesting items

Two interesting items selected from today's RSS feeds:

- "Web 2.0 is built on Open Source" from FSDaily - a run-down of the free and open source software that runs many Web 2.0 applications >>>

- "Inspired by Vannevar Bush, Is Fleck Just What the New Web Was Missing?" from Social Computing magazine - about Fleck, a new tool for annotating web pages and sharing them. Also has a Firefox extension - >>>

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Podcasting Has No 'Inherent' Pedagogic Value

Thanks to our colleague Bill Perry for pointing up two recent reports.

One ( >>> ) is a 'comprehensive survey of the latest academic studies on the impact of podcasting on learning and teaching'. The findings should really come as no surprise, and probably ought to fall under the heading of 'the blindingly obvious', but are a useful reminder not to be taken in by hype.

The report states that "As with any educational technology, whether and how podcasting impacts the quality of the learning experience and/or educational outcomes depends largely upon how the technology is put to use,"

Bill also points out the full 15 page White Paper is at:

Monday, July 09, 2007

IBM epidemiology software now open source

Linux Medical News reports ( >>> ) a news item from the eHealth News Portal ( >>> ) that IBM has announced that it has made available an advanced software technology that can help predict the transmission of diseases across countries and around the globe to the open source community.

STEM (the Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler tool) is designed to help scientists and public health officials create and use spatial and temporal models of emerging infectious diseases. STEM, which runs on any operating system, allows the rapid creation of epidemiological models for how an infectious disease, such as avian influenza or dengue fever, is likely to geographically spread over time. It creates a graphical representation of the spread of a disease based on a variety of parameters such as population, geographic and macro-economic data, roadmaps, airport locations, travel patterns and bird migratory routes around the world.

The STEM software is available at:

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Google health group - no nurses, no internationals

As pointed out by Rod Ward on his Informaticopia blog (, Google have set up a 'Google Health Advisory Council' - further details are at:

And guess what? - surprise, surprise, there are are no nurses on it. In fact, it has 5 women out of the 22 (23%), seemingly no-one from outside the USA, and 13 (59%) have MD after their name.

This does not show the kind of forward-thinking, or even current thinking and awareness, on health issues that one would expect from a global company that claims to want to 'better understand the problems consumers and providers face every day and offer feedback on product ideas and development'. I think, given the tone of many blog posts that are linking to the article, they will soon begin to understand!

Perhaps this is an opportunity for the international nursing community, and the nursing component of the blogosphere, to flex some muscle.

Note also that many other health professionals are similarly excluded.

Launch date for blog carnival

The first issue of 'A global carnival of health informatics' will be hosted on the Health informatics 2.0 blog ( in July 2007. It will be available on 22 July - submission deadline to be considered for inclusion is noon UK time on Saturday 21 July.

Please send all submissions via the website at: - or if having problems, to hi.blogs[at]

uHealth blog

CHIRAD member Karl Øyri, from Norway, has set up a new uHealth blog - see Karl states that his "approach to uHealth is to look at not only the technological aspects, but how uHealth tools can be implemented in clinical settings to improve care and include the perspective of nurses, physicians and patients."

Karl's other activities are chronicled at his DeltaDigital site -

Friday, June 29, 2007


Our colleague, Ruslan David, maintains 'eHealthNews.EU - the First European eHealth News Portal' at - naturally -

It is an excellent resource of news and links, and a good implementation of the Joomla open source Content Management System. Go have a look - you can also subscribe to the RSS feed.

Google Desktop for Linux

According to Linux Insider, 'Google has expanded its Desktop application to be available to Linux users. The search utility comes in 10 languages and is made for users of Debian 4.0, Fedora Core 6, Ubuntu 6.10, Suse 10.1 and Red Flag 5, but it also requires an x86 processor. It allows the user to search his or her own hard drive in much the same style as an online Google Web search.'

See full item at

Linux on flash/pen drives

Many people would like to try Linux but are worried about installing it to their computer. One solution is to use a 'Live CD', of which many abound, in particular Knoppix (

An alternative that we are experimenting with is to run it on a flash/pen drive (or dongle, to use the technical term ;-)) ). An introduction to how to set this up is at

For those who wish to explore installing Linux, a good guide on the use of GRUB bootloader (to facilitate dual boots) is at:

Friday light relief

Just in case the blog gets too serious, a little light relief ...

there's a new film out of New Zealand called 'Black Sheep' (nothing to do with the beer, I suspect -

The film's website is at and there is a review at >>>

The trailer (on YouTube) is hilarious (IMHO).
See it at: (sorry, embedding it has been disabled)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Health informatics blog carnival

A health informatics 'blog carnival' is being planned. For information on what this is all about, see the relevant posts at

The first event will probably be held in mid July, and we will try to do another just before, or around and themed on, medinfo2007 (

If you want to be involved, contact Peter Murray on peterjmurray[at]

Feel free copy this post, link to it, and otherwise publicise the event. Watch this and other health informatics blogs for further information.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Diane Skiba keynote at Rutgers 2007

Our colleague Diane Skiba gave the closing keynote at the recent Rutgers 2007 nursing computer technology conference. A report on her presentation is on the conference blog - see

Her theme was 'Predicting the Future' and she covered a wide range of ideas. A useful adjunct, as she mentioned YouTube and other Web 2.0 tools, is the article 'Nursing Education 2.0: YouTubeTM' on the 'Nursing Education Perspectives' website >>>

The "The Medieval Help Desk" video on YouTube is also worth watching - see

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rutgers2007 conference and blog

CHIRAD members Peter Murray and Scott Erdley will be at the 25th (Anniversary) Annual International Nursing Computer and Technology Conference. The conference is organised by the College of Nursing Center for Professional Development of Rutgers The State University of New Jersey. This 25th Anniversary annual event will be held on 14 - 17 June 2007 at the San Francisco Marriott in San Francisco, California, USA.

We will be blogging the event as well as presenting.

Keep an eye on the conference blog at:

Friday, June 08, 2007

Free software news sources

FSDaily ( is a news hub entirely dedicated to free and open source software, where users can vote stories up and down. It uses Pligg ( - so, is like Digg, but just for free software.

This new resource is developed by Free Software Magazine, an online magazine dedicated to the promotion of free software as a whole - see

Their pages also have a useful 'beginner’s guide to understanding free software' >>>

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Blogs and Web 2.0 tools

Peter Murray will be at the 25th (Anniversary) Annual International Nursing Computer and Technology Conference, organised by the College of Nursing Center for Professional Development of Rutgers The State University of New Jersey. It will be held on 14 - 17 June 2007 at the San Francisco Marriott in San Francisco, California, USA.

He and colleagues in the 'krew' ( will be blogging the event - see and will be doing several presentations and workshops; more about that will be added here in June.

A 'first' for that blog (as far as we know), as we like to keep trying out new things. It is the first nursing/health informatics event blog to be mobile-enabled, which means that you can access the blog in specially modified format on your Internet-enabled mobile device (phone, PDA, etc). I have tried it out and it certainly works on my MDA using T-Mobile's 'web'n'walk' (which is not an advert).

Another new tool - Peter is exploring Protopage ( and similar start page technologies for his online CV/personal website. It has a lot of features similar to other applications such as NetVibes abd Pageflakes.
See for yet another 'always in beta' project.

OSHCA2007 presentations

The presentation materials from the OSHCA 2007 event (see earlier post of May 8) are now available on the OSHCA website at

Thanks to Ignacio Valdes at Linux Medical News ( for noting this.

EFMI Special Topic Conference, Croatia

CHIRAD members Graham Wright and Helen Betts are this week at the EFMI ( 2007 STC Special Topic Conference on the Brijuni Islands, Croatia ( No reports as yet, but hopefully a post hoc report can be posted.

Monday, May 14, 2007

South Africa teaching

This week (14-18 May), CHIRAD members Graham Wright and John Bryant are in Mthatha, South Africa ( teaching on the MSc in Health Informatics (see and

On 15 and 16 May, we will be trying some interesting joint teaching between the students in South Africa and those on the current cohorts in Winchester. More reports on this over the next few days.

So much for patient choice ...

According to a report in today's Guardian (>>>), "Labour's health policy giving people the right to choose between NHS hospitals in England is regarded by most patients as irrelevant, the government's health watchdog will disclose this week."

This is hardly a surprise to the many who have been saying for years that the sort of choice being offered as part of the policy is of little or no direct relevance to most patients.

The report goes to say that the issues people regard as most important are whether they have confidence in a hospital's doctors and nurses, and issues they regarded as least important included whether they have a choice of hospital.

The report concludes by quoting the Royal College of Nursing's general secretary, Peter Carter, that: "Asking people if they want more choice is like asking whether they want more peace. Of course they will say 'yes'."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

OSHCA 2007 confererence

The OSCHCA (Open Source Health Care Alliance) conference takes places May 8-11 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We would love to be there, as many CHIRAD members are involved in free/libre and open source software and approaches in health and health informatics.

Information on OSHCA and the event are at We look forward to some reports and will post any information we find.

JISC Web 2.0 webinar

Last week, Peter Murray took part on a week-long' webinar' dealing with Web 2.0 applications in higher education in the UK. His blog posts from the week are available on the Informaticopia blog. It was an interesting experience - daily hour-long presentations using a mix of audio, video, slide presentations and text-chat, interlinked with Moodle discussion fora.

For anyone interested in the outputs, or the process, the slides are available at Slideshare >>>, thanks to mark van Harmelen, one of the organisers of the event. The Moodle discussions can be found at and you can still register as a guest.

Some interesting ideas were raised around the use of Web 2.0 in education, including how institutions might use external services and the issues involved. CHIRAD will be using Moodle and a variety of online tools, including Web 2.0 applications, for teaching; we will post here about our experiences.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Birthdays and things

This blog - as with all good blogs - will cover the personal as well as the professional. So, we note that May 3 is a big day in CHIRAD terms - and especially this year.

Happy birthday to Graham Wright, Founder and Director of CHIRAD, who is the big SIX-OH today. In addition, CHIRAD members Peter Murray and Rod Ward celebrate their wedding anniversaries today - not to each other, but curiously they were both married on the same day back in 1986.

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Podcasting at AMIA

AMIA, the American Medical Informatics Association ( has been developing podcasts; they are available for download through the AMIA website. What caught our attention was a new podcast from their 'Knowledge in Motion' Working Group, on 'IT and Patient Empowerment' (on
Most of the other podcasts, available at, are from their pharmacoinformatics working group.

Our reason for mentioning these is that CHIRAD members who have an interest in podcasting will be participating in some conference presentations later this year; watch out here for more details.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

CHIRAD's 'Big Issues' papers

CHIRAD has launched a series of occasional papers on topics that face health informatics professionals, especially in the field of semantic interoperability. The first paper, on SNOMED CT can be found on the 'Big Issues' pages (

Titled 'Implementing Snomed CT within national electronic record solutions', the paper explores a variety of issues and poses a series of questions to be addressed.

Each paper will have a linked discussion forum, which will be moderated by academics from CHIRAD.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Welcome to the new CHIRAD blog

Welcome to the new CHIRAD blog. It aims to complement CHIRAD's other online resources and activities. We will be posting updates and comments on CHIRAD activities here, so you may wish to simply subscribe to the RSS feed here, rather than have to keep checking all our other resources.

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