Bringing Medical Records to Developing Countries--OSS Style

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 22, 2008

Ever heard of OpenMRS? It's a community-developed, open source electronic medical record system framework. As anybody in the United States knows, it's not that easy to put together any kind of functional electronic system for medical records. OpenMRS has an additional challenge, though: It's focused on making these systems work in developing countries, where AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria cause suffering for millions of people. OpenMRS helps educate and support people in developing countries on how to keep up a sustainable medical records system. Now, open source business intelligence software provider Pentaho is part of the mix.

Pentaho has a highly regarded suite of tools for analyzing business data, and making it viewable from many angles. For more on them, see our recent interview.

In conjunction with OpenMRS, Pentaho is integrating its open source business intelligence suite with OpenMRS' central medical records system focused on developing countries. "Pentaho brings proven open source tools and the right expertise to help reduce the amount of redundant efforts in collecting, managing, and analyzing health services information," said Paul Biondich M.D. and IT Project Lead for OpenMRS.

In particular, the Pentaho suite concentrates on solid reporting tools. This may be promising for aggregating views from the OpenMRS system's database of how disease outbreaks are spreading and being managed, trends in healthcare in developing countries and more. Folks interested in assisting the OpenMRS project can find out how to contribute here.