Developing Business Models for National Implementations Of Free and Open-Source eHealth Solutions - School of Computing Seminar Series

Healthcare systems have been described as holistic ecosystems, composed of systems within systems that interact with each other at different levels of policy setting, funding and delivery. To be effective they require the application of adaptive ICT strategies that are sympathetic with healthcare ecosystem complexities. We will look at failures of the traditional closed software ICT innovation programmes in providing suitable solutions, and will explore the emergence of open innovation, open business models, and open-source and free software approaches to healthcare problems.


Tom Kane has been an ICT consultant for 20 years. This research topic has developed from consultancy work he did with the Nelson Mandela Children Fund in 2015-2016. He was asked to explore possible candidates for the Hospital Information System for the new hospital. While he was able to establish the impressive credentials of a free software package, called Gnu Health, there was no business model for its deployment, no identified and trusted consortium leading a bid for its implementation, no contractual agreements on offer for service delivery, and therefore no way to bring Gnu Health to the procurement competition. This piqued his research interest.