Top 25 Open Access & Open Source Medical Projects

Medical personnel, including nurses, are gearing up to create personal and patient health records online, as well as integrative efforts among healthcare facilities. One way to manage this transparency and cooperation is through open source software, community, collaboration and tools. Open source solutions usually are free, but support may cost either time, money or both. Regardless, this list of 25 open access and open source medical projects may be just what your team needs to meet the goal of helping people who need medical care.

Open Source InitiativeSoftware and Integration

  1. care2X: The challenge for this open source hospital information system is to make all software compatible, open the ability to share data, to decrease learning curve time on software management and to increase communication possibilities.
  2. ClearHealth: This project is a new generation of medical software designed by clinics and hospitals and powered by Open Source software. ClearHealth includes modules for document storage, customizable reporting/forms, lab results and prescription management.
  3. HealthFrameWorks: HealthFrameWorks is the collection of reusable services and components used to create the HealthFrame Personal Health Record system. The service includes business components, a server, co-branding and re-branding.
  4. i2b2: i2b2, or “Informatics for Integrating Biology and the Bedside,” is an NIH-funded National Center for Biomedical Computing based at Partners HealthCare System. The i2b2 Center is developing a scalable informatics framework to bridge data from clinical research and basic science research to better understand genetic bases of hypertension, obesity, arthritis and other complex diseases.
  5. IndivoHealth: Developed by the Children’s Hospital Boston, this project represents the original personally controlled health record (PCHR) system. A PCHR enables an individual to own and manage a complete, secure, digital copy of her health and wellness information. Indivo is built to be extended and customized.
  6. OpenTAPAS: Technology Assisted Practice Application Suite (TAPAS) is a model to assist primary care physicians in their use of technology in their practices. It is an open source (GPL 2.0) collection of tools. The modular design will allow groups of physicians to chose a module (or modules) to adopt to apply technology in their practice to a subgroup of patients.
  7. PatientOS: Pronounced Patient-oh-es where O and S stand for Open Source, this software has been designed from the outset to be a Healthcare Information System (HIS). The software architecture, design patterns and framework has been built for the complexities and challenges of an enterprise wide information system.
  8. tkFP EMR: Small office EMR for family physicians, pediatricians, internists or primary care, handling key functions including: registering the patient, reading and writing progress notes, checking medications, writing and transmitting prescriptions looking up information on medical questions, making referrals, and finally generating the bill and/or insurance claim, ready for transmission or printing.
  9. Tolven Institute: This collaborative is focused on delivering electronic personal health records (ePHR), electronic clinician health records (eCHR), healthcare informatics platforms and health analytics. The informing vision of the Tolven Institute founders is to develop the most innovative health informatics and service delivery solutions, with global applicability.

Open AccessCollaboration and Information

  1. IMIA Open Source Health Informatics Working Group: This effort brings together experts and interested individuals from a wide range of health professions and with a range of interests in the potential application of free/libre and open source solutions within their domains of expertise.
  2. LinuxMedNews: This site has been “revolutionizing Medical Education and Practice Since March, 30 2000.” They actively cover news about Free and Open Source, Electronic Health Records (EHR), Medical Billing, Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Practice Management systems.
  3. Medsphere: A community gathering place for health care administrators, clinicians, developers and enthusiasts to interact, share and collaborate in an open source atmosphere. It is billed as the “largest ecosystem in healthcare.”
  4. Mirth: This community web site is the place to meet other developers, find resources and become part of the development process. Three subgroups work on health software, clinical data and (coming soon) an open-source plug-in based master patient index (MPI).
  5. Open Health: This Yahoo! Group discusses issues pertaining to the use of open source free software in health care settings. This list was co-founded by Brian Bray, Dave Scott and Joseph Dal Molin 12 years ago. Joseph Dal Molin was the recipient of the 2005 Linux Medical News Freedom Award.
  6. OpenHRE: Open Source Health Records Exchange fosters development, distribution and support of open source medial software with a goal to build a community to this aim. This is a self-sustaining business model and an open collaboration “among all stakeholders.”
  7. OpenMRS Wiki: The OpenMRS community is working hard to assemble a complete User Guide for OpenMRS, including everything you need to know to install, configure, and use OpenMRS in your environment. They encourage everyone involved to the project to help refine and add to this documentation.
  8. PLos Medicine: This is a peer-reviewed open-access journal published by the Public Library of Science. SMIViewer: Free visual data analysis tool for research and teaching. The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world’s scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource.

Public HealthPrograms and Public Health

  1. EpiSPIDER: This project is a mashup of worldwide epidemics using expert sources and news. EpiSPIDER is a tool that demonstrates connectivity between “consumers”, “producers” and “transformers” of data within an emerging information and knowledge ecosystem.
  2. Global HRIS Strengthening: The Capacity Project (2005-2009) developed free, Open Source HRIS solutions to supply health sector leaders and managers with the information they need to assess HR problems, plan effective interventions, and evaluate those interventions. The follow-on global project, CapacityPlus, builds on the HRIS strengthening work initiated by the Capacity Project.
  3. InfluSim: This is a deterministic pandemic influenza simulator that computes the effect of interventions like antiviral treatment of cases and social distancing. To be used for pandemic preparedness planning by health care offices.
  4. Open eMed: This site offers a set of distributed healthcare information service components built around the OMG distributed object specifications and the HL7 (and other) data standards and is written in Java for platform portability. The components used here are specific to healthcare only in the data models that are supported.
  5. Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler: STEM is designed to help scientists and public health officials create and use spatial and temporal models of emerging infectious diseases. These models can aid in understanding and potentially preventing the spread of such diseases.
  6. The RODS Open Source Project: Real-time Outbreak and Disease Surveillance (RODS) is open-source public health surveillance software. RODS collects and analyzes disease surveillance data in real time and has been in development since 1999 by the RODS Laboratory.
  7. TriSano: This is a highly configurable, comprehensive and open source surveillance and outbreak management application for global public health and healthcare. It allows local, state, federal and international agencies to identify, investigate and mitigate communicable and chronic diseases, environmental hazards and bioterrorism events.
  8. Zephyr Open: This is a code project to provide a framework for BlueTooth Physiological Sensors. Users can connect devices and view reports in real time. This data can also be streamed to the web via FTP or directly into your Gmail account via ATOM feeds.