The BERMED open distributed management system provides the infrastructure on which to base the integrated medical application. In essence it can be seen to provide the transparency mechanisms that mask from the medical applications programmer the distribution and access methods. The descriptions used here correspond to the computational, and engineering viewpoints. The information and technology viewpoints of BERMED are described later in “Integrated Medical Application”.
In the implementation we utilize the Open Software Foundation’s Distributed Computing Environment to provide remote procedure communications, security and directory services. In the Heart Institute, which makes extensive use of MUMPS technology, a central patient directory has been implemented using the Veterans Administration’s FileMan database. In the Department of Radiology of the University Clinic, integration has been enabled using both the services of DCE and of an object-oriented database, Itasca. These implementations are discussed in a later chapter. The use of commercial products has allowed the rapid development of a reliable infrastructure, whilst at the same time allowing emphasis on the development of the medical application functionality. It is clear that most health professionals are far more interested in the end functionality than the elegance of the underlying object management infrastructure. To have any chance of acceptance the system must support their work.
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