Open-source software in an occupational health application: the case of Heales Medical Ltd
In this paper, we provide a case study of a small--company, Heales Medical Ltd., that has chosen to use opensource software to develop an online integrated patient management system. We use this case study to examine some preconceptions of open-source technology in the light our experiences of open source in the Heales project. We identify costs and cost savings as being the primary business considerations, and identify software purchase and licensing as key advantages for open-source. We then look at development issues including software evaluation, implementation and programming, and identify these as more costly for open-source, in terms of time and effort expended. We also look at issues to do with open source licensing, which our initial investigations suggest is confusing and requires--further analysis. Overall, the ability to modify the source code is regarded as a key benefit of open-source software, but in a business environment like Heales, this is of little importance.