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Bits of Debian Med team: report from LSM, Geneva 2012

Hi this bits is actually my report from LSM, Geneva 2012. In this report: 1. Medical imaging using Debian 2. Debian Med packaging workshop 3. Integration of VistA into Debian 4. Other interesting talks

(The text is also available inside the Debian Med blog at

1. Medical imaging using Debian[1]

There were about 10 attendees basically upstream developers of medical
imaging software. The talk got some attention and the message to
include even more medical imaging software into Debian was well
percived. Thanks to Mathieu Malaterre there was some live demonstration
which was way easier for him as a medical imaging expert than it would
have been for me.


2. Debian Med packaging workshop[2a]

Due to my advertising in the talk yesterday three students (two of them
from one medical imaging project, one from an other project) attended
the workshop. Thanks to Axel Beckert who helped me out surviving the
challenge to walk on unexplored ground.

The idea of the workshop was to ask the attendees to name a package of
their own and just package this. Because two of the attendees were
upstream developers of CreaTools[2b] we decided to go on for packaging
this. After circumeventing some pitfalls in the beginning it went
rather smoothly and after about 2.5 hours we were able to commit some
initial packaging to the Debian Med Git repository[2c] which comes quite
close to a ready package (perhaps some split into a library and a
development package needs to be done and for sure testing is needed).

Quoting Frederic Cervenansky, upstream of CreaTools

Thanks for your work. Your workshop was very interesting and
didactic: a relevant discussion between Claire and me for the
future of Creatools has emerged from the difficulties you
encountered to package creatools.
I will try, before the end of the month, to fully package
creatools. And for sure, I will contact the debian-med mailing

(only few introductory slides – the evant basically was life demo)

3. Integration of VistA into Debian[3a]

I had the good chance to directly address some issues of Claudio Zaugg
the speaker in the talk “Implementing open source Health Information
Systems in Low- and Middle Income Countries – a practical review”[3b]
directly before mine. It turned out that by using Debian packaged
software might help simplifying the issues they had in supporting health
care workers in Low- and Middle Income Countries.

My talk was partly repeating some basic ideas about Debian Med from the
talk on Monday because the audience was completely different. Than I
tried to explain in detail how we tried hard to establish good contacts
to upstream developers and why this is essential to finalise the goal to
include hospital information systems straight into Debian any by doing
so open the doors of hospitals for large scale Debian installations.

There is also video recording of this talk.[3c]


4. Other interesting talks

OpenEMR, a multi-language free open source electronic health record for international use[4a]

Just discussed the packaging of OpenEMR which is prepared for Debian Med
as it can be seen on our tasks page[4b]. The contact to the creator of
some inofficial package will be established to finalise this task.

OpenFovea : when open-source and biophysical research get married[4c]

Just another target for Debian Med popped up in this talk to further
enhance Debian Med in covering all issues of medical care on one hand
and on the other hand helping upstream authors to distribute their code
more effectively.

Collaborative software development for nanoscale physics[4d]

The talk would have fit very nicely into the Debian Science workshop[4e]
at ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility[4f]) in Grenoble because
it was about ETRF (European Theoretical Radiation Facility[4g] – seems
these people are doing everything with pen and paper where ESRF people
need a large gadget ;-)). At previous LSM events I had just talked with
Yann and the work to include their software into Debian is on its way.

Free software and High Performance Computing[4h]

This talk was not directly connected to my Debian work but I simply
enjoyed to see how “two people” had a really entertaining talk about Top
500 computers. Vittoria, you made my last day at LSM.


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