Helping the Little Kiddies (Kuddies)? [Microsoft moves on EHRs in NZ via NGO]


Helping the Little Kiddies (Kuddies)?

Reports from NZ that Microsoft is giving a heap of software free to Plunket, NZ’s “largest provider of support services for the development, health and wellbeing of children under the age of 5.”

So the question is, is this move more likely because:

(a) Microsoft has come over all altruistic and wants to take this opportunity to help those poor little darlings; or

(b) Plunket has announed that it will be creating an electronic health record for every child in its care, and is looking to appoint a provider of an electronic health record platform by the end of the year, thus effectively establishing the electronic health record of choice for most NZ children which will probably stay with them throughout their lives  and why not take this opportunity to get on Plunket’s good side?

If by some vague chance it happens to be the latter, it would be a prime example of the exceedingly poor policy outcomes that copyright ideology leads to.  The long run result of the NZ public extending copyright to cover software is that they are in effect subsidising Microsoft in its efforts to lock the whole of the country[1] into its electronic health record format, and through that associated closed source tools.  No discount that Plunket is getting will balance the additional extra costs everyone in the country will have to pay over the coming decades.  Ta rar chaps!

Notes:

[1] The Computerworld article reports that Plunket would be making EHRs for 250,000 children – or over one quarter of the under 14s in NZ according to the CIA factbook (and presumably growing year on year, so when the current cohort are 14, about 20% of the population will be covered).  It will be a major EHR implementation within the country and in order for anyone else to be interoperable they will need to support the Plunket-chosen format.  As successive implementations are likely to be smaller in volume, as they accrete they will be overwhelmed by the mass of the Plunket implementation.  As an early mover I expect Plunket will have a very significant impact on the long term implementation of EHRs in NZ.

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