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Free and Open Source Software (Foss) for Electronic Health Record Management in Developing Countries

Author(s): Frank Verbeke | Ly Ousmane | Gustave Karara | Marc Nyssen

Journal: Rwanda Medical Journal
ISSN 2079-097X

Volume: 70;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Open source software | Developing countries | Health information systems | Electronic medical record | Logiciel d’accès ouvert | Pays en voie de développement | Systèmes d’informations de santé | Dossier médical informatisé

An increasing number of open source projects over the past decade have found their way to the health sector, particularly in developing countries.Some of the more than 1,500 applications which have already been published in the public domain were particularly successful, others died a quiet death. FOSS means more than free software: for many projects it also involves a completely new approach to novel software development methods to be embedded in even new business models. Since a few years, open source applications became available for the full management of medical records and some of them have grown into complete integrated hospital information management systems. This article tries to give an overview of important potential advantages, disadvantages and challenges for medical FOSS applications with special interest in the electronic medical record.
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