Joanne Rohde, a former top executive at Red Hat, is launching a new venture focused on healthcare information.

Rohde, who joined Red Hat as executive vice president for global operations in 2004, is the chief executive officer of the

Joining her is Matt Mattox, former director of independent software vendor alliances at (NYSE: RHT).

“We wish Joanne and Matt well on their new venture,” Leigh Day, a spokesperson for Red Hat, the world’s top developer and provider of Linux open source software solutions, told Local Tech Wire and

According to information available online, Axial is based in the Triangle and has four employees and will focus on open source solutions.

“Our mission is to improve health care by securely transmitting the right clinical information to the right people and places at the right time,” Rohde says on the Axial web site.

Citing personal health problems as well as within her family, Rohde said the state of the U.S. healthcare industry led to the formation of the new venture.

“We have formed Axial Project because we believe the current state of the US Health System is sub-par, but doesn’t need to be,” she wrote. “Despite the world’s most renowned doctors and hospitals, and enormous investment (twice as much per individual as any other country in the world), the US ranks 37th in Health Care efficacy according to the World Health Organization.

“We can do better, simply by getting critical information to the right people at the right time, and involving patients in their own care,” Rohde added. “Drawing from experience in other more automated industries, and combining the principles of Open Standards and Open Source, we seek to connect all the parties in the Health ecosystem safely and securely.

“On a personal note: my mother, my husband and myself have gone years without proper diagnoses of chronic and acute illnesses that led to failing health and reduced quality of life,” she said. “Through it all, we saw many doctors at some of the best hospitals in the world. We are all insured by private insurance, a rarity to be sure, but only one of us had most of our costs covered by our insurance. I am convinced that if all the doctors had all the same information, the diagnoses would have come more quickly. Furthermore, if we had our own information, we could have done better research, found more support groups, and become well faster

“While better connectivity is not the solution to all the woes in our health care system, it does give us the means to start making things better. The power to change starts with information. Let’s get the information where it needs to go, and start making significant change.”

Matt Asay, a blogger about open source at the Cnet web site, and the departure of Mattox on Monday.

“I’ve been talking with Rohde for at least a year now – most recently meeting for breakfast in Raleigh in April – and have enjoyed seeing her ideas germinate and flower,” Asay wrote. “The company has gone through various guises (and names: as late as April, Rohde was calling the company EHRmail), and is now growing to meet the challenges ahead of it.”

Before joining Red Hat, Rohde was managing director for information technology and chief procurement officer at UBS Investment Bank. She has more than 20 years of experience in the IT businesses.