Saturday, May 09, 2009

Can Ubuntu save the electronic medical record ?

There are a number of Open Source electronic medical record software packages (EMR). There are even more proprietory EMR packages. Many of the FOSS EMR can compete with the commercial ones. Despite the fact that they mostly run on free OS such as Linux they are mostly invisible.

When you try to sell a FOSS EMR on a free OS it gets difficult. Few FOSS EMR have bothered to package for any given distribution. GNUmed is one of the few that provides packages for Ubuntu , Debian, openSUSE, Fedora and others.

Since the inception of Debian packages a lot more people have been able to try GNUmed on a free platform. It is about the users. EMR are valuable to very few people but the that look for Linux EMR have not been greeted by nice installation methods so far.

Ubuntu has received a lot of buzz lately. Seems like a lot of people are getting introduced to Free Software by means of Ubuntu. We are prepared for that. GNUmed provides easy to install packages.

Is it enough ? We don't know yet. It would certainly help if more medical and scientific software was visible. There is a project called Debian-med which takes care of aggregating scientific and therefore medical packages in Debian. I believe a medical derivative of Ubuntu could benefit both sides.

Increase visibility for Ubuntu as a commecially viable OS in medical offices and certainly expose FOSS EMR to a wider audience.


Asa said...

It would be nice to know what "EMR" stands for. You might want to add that here somewhere, or refer to it by its full name in title and then call it EMR in the rest of the post.

Sebastian Hilbert said...

Thanks for the hint. Post has been updated.