We’ve seen a flurry of tweets and posts recently from the community about the future of Horos. There are naysayers calling Horos dead. Others suggesting that changes Apple has made have impacted the code’s performance. With a small number of vocal supporters acknowledging that keeping Horos functioning through this period is difficult and expensive.
We are proud to proclaim that the Horos project is still active and vibrant, but not without its challenges.
The difficulties involved in keeping a free open source project alive and well are numerous. Even with a community that is bordering on half a million registered users, we have the daunting task of ensuring there is sufficient financial support to pay for the technical work that continually needs to be provided to stay up to date with Apple’s operating system changes.
The vast majority of our community uses Horos completely free of charge. Only about 1,000 of you contribute anything to the well-being of the project. That means that about 2% of the total user base pays the freight for the other 98% of our users.
Purview has shouldered the financial burden of technical updates, bug fixes, and maintaining the Horosproject.org website for the past six and a half years. We get assistance from a small group of dedicated technologists in the Horos community who freely contribute their precious time and knowledge to the project, even though their talents are scarce and highly sought out elsewhere.
Technical expertise is expensive; changes that Apple continues to make in its hardware and operating software throw roadblocks in our way; and the Horos code is aging, the product and its processor are nearing the two-decade mark of maturity, making changes and updates that much more difficult.
Purview (The Chief Sponsor of Horos) offsets some of its Horos operating costs by receiving donations from the loyal members of the Horos community, from paid-for support services, cloud sharing, and reporting (although these are delivered at near breakeven), and from the sale of user documentation and training videos. However, all of these combined don’t add up to nearly enough to fund what is required to keep Horos at the top of its game. Purview contributes the rest of the costs.
Several years ago, we pledged to keep Horos free and open. We don’t plan to step that back.
Instead, we are going to begin a campaign to “encourage” those who can afford it, to contribute on a regular basis to the project. We will do this via a voluntary payment from each person who downloads the product. Our goal will be to raise sufficient funds to put a focused part-time technical resource on the payroll, with their sole focus on keeping Horos as current and functional as practical.
We know that doing this is expensive. We will need to generate somewhere near $100,000 US net of costs of credit cards and collection; more if we really want Horos to shine. With the current number of downloads per month, that means on average, is if everyone volunteers $5 each time they download a copy of Horos, we will have this covered. That certainly seems like a small contribution to such an amazing piece of software!
We’ve had a flurry of emails and inquiries over the past few months of users that somehow lost their images that were stored in Horos. It turns out most of these are recoverable. However, it is both disruptive and expensive to make that happen. While Horos is a great tool for viewing and reviewing medical images, it was not intended to be a PACS. We always suggest the following:
As the snowy wind blew outside, the Apple board room felt more like a cozy living room, with healthcare professionals sitting on couches and sleek wooden chairs, immersed in discussion around radiology, Apple’s latest Mac products, and the reason they were there - Horos.
Carly Cherches, a senior at Union College, reflects on her summer 2018 internship as an inbound marketing intern with Purview, a healthcare technology company and the chief sponsor of the Horos Project. Carly will graduate in Spring 2019 with a degree in biomedical engineering.
Horos, a free open-source DICOM medical imaging viewer for Apple computers, has been adopted globally by tens of thousands of diverse users, from clinicians and academic researchers to lawyers and patients who want to view their medical images.
As such, after downloading Horos the next steps you should take depend on the reasons you downloaded the software in the first place.
So what are the most common use cases for Horos, and what should you do in each instance?
We're excited to announce that Horos Cloud Reporting was named one of two finalists for "Best New Radiology Software" in the Minnies 2018 awards!
A standard radiology report is a useful way to capture and succinctly communicate the results of most imaging scans, including X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. Whether in human health or veterinarian care, this summary of the identified condition and diagnosis is a critical communication tool between the radiologist and the treating physician or patient. While radiology reports are traditionally comprised of text, reports with key images improve communication by providing a new layer of depth and understanding for physicians and their patients.
Medical imaging is an important tool for the equine veterinarian. Whether it’s the x-ray of a sore foot or an ultrasound of a heart, imaging can be used in many aspects of equine evaluation and care. But equine vets have a challenge that is somewhat unique to them – they often have to mobilize their equipment to meet or treat the patient.