Category Archives: Philosophy

Nominalism versus Ontology

Most nominalist arguments are straightforwardly wrong, but not for the usual reasons that universals and/or abstracta are said by realists to exist, but for the opposite reason: types and abstracta are ‘just there’, even if they don’t ‘exist’, in the sense of being spatio-temporally concretised. The real problem is that we misuse the word ‘exists’ at least half the time in philosophy. Continue reading

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Why using HIT standards fails to achieve interoperability

I started working in the Health IT area in 1994, on a major European Commission funded project. I attended years of standards meetings at HL7, CEN and occasionally OMG and ISO from 1999 to about 2012. And I’ve observed the … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, openehr, Philosophy, standards | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The folly of the obsession with source code

My favourite topic these days is the phenomenon of fundamentalist thinking. You don’t need to go to Iraq to find it, it’s all around us…. Recently I chanced upon a post entitled ‘Coding is not the new literacy’ by Chris … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Health Informatics, openehr, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

Charlie Hebdo – in defence of a civil society

Normally this blog is reserved for my work. This evening I make an exception. I am outraged and disgusted at what I see has happened in Paris this afternoon. A massacre of 12 at and around the offices of Charlie … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Philosophy, Politics | Leave a comment

The real reason most software fails

To my mind there is a problem in academia to do with where disciplines like ‘computer science’ (CS) and applications of computing sit.  Pure computer science is the study of computational theory and applications. It develops things like data structures, … Continue reading

Posted in Computing, Culture, Health Informatics, Philosophy | 8 Comments

Ontologies in health: ready for prime time? IAO versus openEHR

A lot of ontology work has been going on for some years that comes loosely under the BFO and OBO activities, which stand to improve how computing in health is done. BFO is the Basic Formal Ontology, and OBO is … Continue reading

Posted in Health Informatics, openehr, Philosophy | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why e-health really is hard

Every so often, someone asks: why can’t the health sector get its act together with ICT? Tell me why health is ‘different’? Every so often a new and interesting answer to this question pops up…

Posted in Health Informatics, Philosophy | Tagged , , | 4 Comments