Linux is everywhere! We live in a world that is constantly evolving. Along with these changes, Linux is becoming more and more known and popular, especially in the Internet of things and smart devices. Whether you realize it or not, Linux is everywhere you look. It’s used in phones, tablets, servers, ATM, and it runs in all the Top500 supercomputers as of 2017. Linux is taking over the world; it has advanced and spread worldwide. Linux is being used in hospitals as a part of homeland security and is doing important research, making discoveries and breaking barriers, in order to protect and save lives; therefore, making the future for our society brighter.
Homeland security is a cabinet department of the U.S. federal government with a duty to take measures necessary to protect our nation from terrorism and hazards in crucial places such as public health care. According to Healthcare and public health sector-specific plan by Homeland Security Department of Health & Human Services, homeland security’s mission is, “ is to sustain the essential functions of the Nation’s healthcare and public health delivery system and to support effective emergency preparedness and response to nationally significant hazards … when necessary, respond to attacks on the Nation’s infrastructure, and support the necessary resilience in infrastructure to recover and reconstitute healthcare and public health services” (2).
Hospitals play a big role in society: It’s a place where patients go to get healed, treated and cared for when they’re in critical conditions or are in need of medical help.
Since hospitals are so important and because many people trust in hospitals with their health when they are going through hard, scary and sometimes devastating moments, it’s homeland security along with the hospital’s responsibility and duty to ensure that everything is working and functioning properly. So, they are in charge of keeping the patients secured, keep them in a safe environment and ensure that the necessary tools including operating systems such as Linux that are running on medical tools, machines and devices are working properly and efficiently. It’s critical for our society that they fulfill their role to prepare, protect, and try to prevent any mistakes because the individual’s life depends on it..
Linux is an open-source operating system that is very cost-effective. For this reason, many software companies such as RedHat use Linux and they work within hospitals. Linux is implemented in medical devices and make hospital data management more efficient, and better. For example, according to Linux Insider, The OSS Cure for What Ails Hospital IT by Jack M. Germain, Florida hospitals use Red Hat Linux and operate IBM servers which are running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. “These servers run several databases, including the hospital’s two-terabyte Oracle data warehouse. Red Hat Enterprise Linux runs JBoss Application Server and the hospital’s proprietary applications, which include patient care, financial and data management solutions. A group of servers is also dedicated to communication and system protection applications, such as authentication, user ID management, mail and virus scanning”. Hospitals have a lot of crucial and important information that Linux is helping and making it easier to manage while simultaneously ensuring that everything is protected and secure. For example, “Red Hat is working with several health groups to align open-source standards with HL7[Health Level 7] requirements”. HL7 is an international standard used to transfer and share data between various healthcare providers; therefore, Linux is advancing and is working towards making the process of health care, which is an important part of hospitals, easier.
Linux is also used in the Internet of Things(IoT) which is a big part of hospitals because they monitor patient’s health and are all over hospitals. According to Wipro, What can IoT do for healthcare? by Dr. Rajashekha and Manish Jindal, IoT is in “ Devices in the form of wearables like fitness bands and other wirelessly connected devices like blood pressure and heart rate monitoring cuffs, glucometer… [and] can be tuned to remind calorie count, exercise check, appointments, blood pressure variations…[also] IoT-enabled hygiene monitoring devices help in preventing patients from getting infected”. Internet of Things is being used in hospital machines, devices, and tools. They keep patients safe, protected and are a great attribute in hospitals. Red Hat is one of the companies that allow for IoT capabilities to be used in hospitals. According to Red Hat, Connecting the Healthcare IoT by Red Hat JBoss middleware, “Intel IoT Platform solutions, coordinated through the Intel Internet of Things Solutions Alliance, offer many opportunities for healthcare organizations to benefit from the information-rich networking of sensors, IoT devices, analytics engines, data repositories, and healthcare systems.” they are working alongside with Intel architecture which “provides a solid framework of compute, networking, storage, and security components”. Linux distributors, such as Red Hat, are working with hospitals by using advanced and new technology, IoT, to treat the patients as best as possible when it comes to managing their health.
Linux has accomplished so much work that has benefited society and will continue to in the future if it keeps doing the work it is doing now. Hospitals are already expensive, and many have a limited budget; therefore, using Linux is cost-effective and beneficial because it’s more service for less cost meaning Linux allows hospitals to install a larger number of stations and more hardware throughout the hospital. Since Linux is in IoT, it helps to manage the resources, equipment which reduces cost. Linux is also beneficial for patients. According to Wipro, What can IoT do for healthcare? by Dr. Rajashekha and Manish Jindal, using IoT in hospitals helps financially because it eliminates the unnecessary cost for patients by reducing and cutting down unnecessary visits to doctors, hospital stays and re-admissions. IoT also improves treatment because it allows “physicians to make evidence-based informed decisions and brings absolute transparency”. This leads to error reduction because the physician’s decision will be able to make a more accurate decision thanks to IoT. Furthermore, IoT helps to make a faster disease diagnosis. Because of the advanced technology, it helps to make a “diagnosing on the disease at an early stage or even before the disease develops based on symptoms”. Linux being involved in IoT is so beneficial to society and is changing how hospitals function. Since technology is advancing, this is helping people, saving lives, and making everything more efficient and flow smoothly.
Many companies and places are working with Linux now to achieve amazing things that are benefiting society. For example, in 2018 Red Hat collaborated with Boston Children’s Hospital to put in place the ChRIS Research Integration Service. According to Red Hat, Red Hat Collaborates with the Massachusetts Open Cloud and Leading Children’s Hospital to Help Shape the Future of Medical Image Processing by Red Hat, the ChRIS Research Integration Service, “is a web-based medical image platform developed using Red Hat technologies, on the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC). The platform enable[s] real-time collaboration between clinicians and radiologists around the world. In medically-critical scenarios, every minute counts and the cost of waiting hours for medical images to be scanned, shared, and analyzed can mean the difference between a patient’s life or death”. This project is saving so many lives because the process of fast imaging gives hospitals the ability to share critical data; therefore, making everything quicker and better for the patient’s health. This project was extraordinary because their collaboration turned something that takes hours into minutes. Furthermore, Linux is being used in the IBM Watson cancer research and making groundbreaking discoveries. According to Health Tech, How IBM Watson Is Revolutionizing Cancer Research by Anna Suarez, “Its ability to learn the medical language related to cancer, including types, symptoms, and treatments, and discern it from other types of diseases is something that could speed up the process for an undiagnosed patient. Watson also understands certain treatment options and can infer how they will affect people based on their current and previous health, age, and gender. By evaluating thousands of pages of medical literature and with the guidance of human experts, Watson creates a corpus of knowledge to infer the best route to correctly diagnose someone with specific cancer and the next steps to take after being diagnosed”. Using artificial intelligence IBM along with Watson is doing groundbreaking discoveries and is saving so many lives and giving people another chance to live. The fact that they are just starting, makes the future bright.
In conclusion, Homeland Security is responsible for one of the most important institutions in society. They work together along with hospitals to ensure everything is working as it should because it’s critical for patients. Hospitals have an operating system, Linux, which are all over the hospital in many different forms such as devices, machines, and tools; they help monitor patient’s health, manage data, and make everything more efficient and better. Linux distributors, such as Red Hat, are expanding and collaborating with others to achieve grounding breaking discoveries which are saving lives and making the future bright.