Open collaborative design/Open Source Medicine

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The existing medical system is a mixture of government services and private markets. It intersects with insurance companies, big pharmaceutical companies, device manufacturers and of course the banking system. Drug research and development is very expensive so companies rely on patents and strict intellectual property law to receive a return on their investment. Big pharmaceutical companies maintain close relationships with doctors in order to ensure that their products get prescribed to patients.

With all of these other concerns it seems the health of the actual patient comes last and that profit of private corporations comes first.

Open source medicine is about bringing healthcare back to the commons and developing solutions with researchers and doctors through careful collaboration with the patients and the wider community. The internet allows collaboration between researchers and the fruits of such research are freely available as opensource products of the global biomedical community.

There already exist many free and open-source software programs to help doctors in diagnostics, managing patients, keeping histories, distributing drugs etc. There are also nascent open-source medical research and design projects such as the Open Prosthetics Project.