Open-source Software Projects in Health Industry

by Bella Williams May 11, 2016

The threats to health are increasing day by day due to their lifestyle choices and eating habits. People tend to have junk food, thereby decreasing the immunity of the human body, resulting into shortening of the life span of individuals. Increased rate of occurrences of different kinds of diseases among the global population has increased the number of hospitals and health care centers throughout the world.

To cater to the needs of the diseased inhabitants and provide good facilities, this industry has joined hands with computing world to solve the bottlenecks. Using computers to speed up processing, managing large amount of data and keeping track of the patients has proved to be efficient way of working. Managing history of patients and aiding in smooth working of the system, these high computing devices have helped a long way.

Open source software is the facility that delivers lines of codes to the developer aiding in customization and development of applications of the base module of the software. The code is available for free after agreeing to the free license agreement. Gamification of these software is catching popularity among many such development projects. Many applications have been developed off late using open-source software packages from communities like GitHub, a few of which have been discussed in this blog article.

i.    Dental Solutions Projects
Open Dental is an open source written in C# programming language released in the year 2003. This practice management software helps in managing and controlling public health systems and its network. This kind of adopted procedure goals to acquire specific outcomes, keeps a track to run the system smoothly getting right kind of people in its network.

Using the resources efficiently and working towards a common goal is the motto of this kind of organizations. Some of the characteristics of the software include flexible front end options, provides easy hands on using the features and supports alerting facility. Other feature include provision of viewing complete record of the patient, supports tracking, supports call facility, emails, tracks the lab cases, payment plans.


Students can learn a lot by working on open-source projects and contributing through platforms like GitHub & Opensource


ii.    Software aiding in maintenance of medical records
Hospital OS is designed hospital management system used to cater small hospitals. Patients residing in remote and rural areas will not be able to get the facilities on time. This system used in Thailand is put into practice in 95 rural hospitals and 402 health care centers. Medical practice management system supporting electronic storage of medical records, GaiaEHR is open source technologies. Server written in PHP this software suite is web-based application.

iii.    Software aiding in public health and bio-surveillance
Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler (STEM), an IBM product designed to help the scientist to create and use spatial/ temporal models of infectious disease. The software comes with some plug-ins giving basic models and global data of diseases. The plug-ins also gives the description of the diseases spreading from one region to another, representing in the form of a graph. The software supports collaboration models which can be shared and reused by other scientist.

iv.    Software aiding in Health System Management
District health information software (DHIS), software used for reporting, evaluation and distribution of data to all connectives. The package contains collected data – staffing, infrastructure, equipment and event data – patient records, disease outbreaks. The system offers customization, facility to link data to any hierarchical level. The system has spread its wings to more than 40 countries.

v.    Software provisioning medical information system
Caisis, web-based application written in C#, HTML and java script is designed using patient histories. The software provisions the users to add plug-ins, modules, and tables adding new functionality. The software features efficiency, adding new functionalities, web-based forms, supports exporting tools and secure environment.

vi.    Open source software aiding in research
Labkey server has found its footing by aiding the scientist to integrate, evaluate them and share biomedical research data. This research-aided software is secure data repository setup that provisions the user with querying, reporting and collaborate the data sources. The platform provides support to observe wide category of data by integrating clinical analysis, allows mass spectrometry data processing, supports centralized management of data, automated quality control and web-based data sharing facilities.

vii.    Software supporting its doings through the usage of mobile devices
Ushahidi, founded in the year 2008 is software aiding in collecting information, visualize and interactive mapping.  Crowd sourcing is used to acquire the needed service, contents from a large population. The model “activist mapping” clubs social activism, Geo-spatial information and citizen journalism. The product gathers reports from mobile and internet users.

New trend in medical science has been subjected to different kinds of ailments due to their eating habits, adopted life style, and changing atmosphere. To help patients overcome these disorders, many health care centers and hospitals are now armed with sophisticated equipment’s. As there is increase in number of patients, the hospital staff finds it quite challenging to manage these devices effectively. Software solutions have shown an abundant capability in storing and managing large hospitals.

Open source software is making its landmark by sharing Geo-spatial information, aiding the scientist in doing their research, tracking patient’s history, managing their records, reporting and many more across the globe. Students can learn a lot by working on open-source projects and contributing through platforms like GitHub & Opensource. These projects are typically a part of the University curriculum for students who have taken up a course related to programming. Our tutors also help students in debugging their open-source projects and meeting their course objectives.

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