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Category Archives: Open Source

Why Health Facilities Should Prefer Open Source Over Proprietary Software

I have been very vocal about free and open source software (FOSS) for healthcare, mostly for philosophical reasons. But that approach is not always shared by other people with different views of the world. It seems ‘economics’ (being mostly quantitative) is easy for many to understand so let me use that as the platform for […]

Shortest entry in this blog — Which Electronic Health Record?

OpenMRS. More at

OpenMRS — free and open source — worth a peek

There’s this new kid on the block (new meaning less than five years in EHR time). OpenMRS is short for open medical record system which is a result of research by Partners in Health (Boston) with South African counterparts. It runs on Java/Tomcat/Hibernate/MySQL, and has an elegant data model (EAV). For those interested in health […]

FOSS — from a Filipino lawyer’s perspective

Thorough. What is interesting is that it is a legal perspective.. Primer on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)

XML — should play a major role in the national health insurance program

More and more, it is increasingly possible for the country to go digital through eXtensible Markup Language (XML). If the government will set the XML schema, then that will allow the hospitals (and developers) to come up with schema-compliant systems that will allow them to submit data to the payor. No names yet.. 🙂

Are you really open source? Put it in github like CHITS

It took sometime but CHITS is now in github. Thanks to Mike crazycrazycrazy for giving us the confidence to do this and congratulations to darth_ali for having the courage to do so. Before CHITS was in many sites: LaunchPad,, sourceforge . But now, it’s in github, the Facebook (R) of codes. Get CHITS here: […]

CHITS replicates self in Tarlac

You all know about the Community Health Information Tracking System. We just had a round of training of trainers in the province of Tarlac and had regular training for four municipalities. To our surprise, one of the municipalities (where we trained on RHU) is teaching another RHU how to use CHITS! It’s a case of […]

An electronic health record on your USB? CHITS-on-a-stick

In Asia Source 3, Bobby S demonstrated FrontlineSMS and described how it may be possible to hack Huawei USB modem and make it into an Ubuntu liveUSB. This is mind-boggling for several reasons: – it means there will come a time when all you need to do is stick your USB in any machine and […]

Asia Source 3 Peppered with Health Apps (and health profs!)

The largest source camp in Asia was held at Silang, Cavite last November 7 to 12, 2009. Amazingly, this camp has quite a number of health professionals in attendance. Out of the one hundred and fifty participants, five were doctors and three were nurses. Topics on OpenMRS, CHITS, and other eHealth-relevant applications (like FrontlineSMS) were […]

Open Source for Health

Much has been said about open source and there are better sites that give more information (, But let me write about free and/or open source software (FOSS) for health. I am biased towards enforcing FOSS fundamentals for health applications especially those which are mission-critical. The reason is that a full audit of the […]