Linux has been prevailing in many sectors, but one of the most demanded ones was health care. In health care, Linux provides an extremely valuable environment to host other software solutions on the top of it to truly empower the organization or company's needs.
The reason for that is quite obvious, people don't want to be under the control of Microsoft and its Windows Enterprise subscriptions, they don't want to pay $$$ per each core in their servers' CPUs, they don't want to depend on a proprietary solution to empower their infrastructure... The reasons are many, and we are going to take a look on why Linux is a better solution for health care than Windows.
Being open source is an extremely important feature for health care organizations. Whether you were representing a hospital, a clinic or a large government agency, then Linux being open source allows your organization to:
Comparing the security perspective of the two operating systems can be a debatable topic, as security largely depends on the measures and awareness your staff usually have when running your infrastructure. However, Linux is a better solution on the long run in that point, because:
Because of the two reasons above, using a Linux distribution in your infrastructure has much less fees than using Windows. In fact, unless you were using a premium 3rd-party software solution, then using Linux can actually cost you an absolute $0, as you don't have to pay anyone for anything. (You of course need to generally pay for enterprise support, if you want, but that's up to which Linux enterprise vendor you choose, and you can largely outsource many parts of your infrastructure to community support).
In addition to that, Microsoft forces you to pay per each CPU core in your servers, which honestly doesn't make sense and would cost you significantly more. While in Linux, the number of CPU cores in your servers doesn't matter at all, as most Linux vendors calculate your subscription fees based on the number of machines.
What would happen to your organization if Microsoft decided to end the support for one of the products you use, or simply raise the subscription fees in a way you can no longer handle? What would you do if they suddenly make a software change that you do not want to have in your infrastructure?
All of that trouble is much less reduced in Linux, because it is open source, and the other common software which run on it are open source too. So in any case, you can always fork the software and create your own in-house version of it and develop it for your own use. There's no 3rd-party vendor that can decide what you have to do with your infrastructure, as everything in it is fully under your own control.
For some reason, people sometimes assume that they are going to a lonely dessert when switching to Linux. They think there are no healthcare-related open source solutions, but that's not true at all. Any type of healthcare-related activity has an open source solution to empower it:
There's an open source program for everything.
What's good about all of this is that since those solutions are open source, then you can easily switch from any solution to any other solution you like whenever you want, with no constraints or limitations to prevent you from that.
As you should have seen by now, Linux is a much better strategic option than Windows for your health care organization. It is true that you may find it hard at the beginning to switch to something that none of your staff have used before, but on the long run, you'll be amazed by how much money and effort you are saving by simply using Linux.
If you have any questions or concerns on how Linux is used in the health care sector, then we would happily hear you in the comments section below.
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FOSS Post is an online magazine about Linux and open source software. Articles written here are written as a collaborative effort between our writers.