GNU Health, an free software hospital information system, medical record system and health information system, is rapidly becoming popular in hospitals around the world, says one of its developers, Sebastian Marro. "This project has the potential to grow really large."
Marro presented GNU Health at the Medetal conference in Luxenbourg, earlier this month. The GNU Health software is supported by a not-for profit organisation, GNU Solidario, set up in Spain. Marro, based in Argentina, is one of the board members of the NGO.
The online community of hospital specialist and software developers result in more and more added functionalities. The software can now also be used by hospitals for tasks such as human resources management, invoicing, financial reporting and resource management, said Marro. "It helps keeping tabs on the hospital lab, the pharmacy and patient admission."
Its aids hospitals that battle tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria. These three are recognized as Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations, Marro says. "But doctors also use it to track many other endemic diseases, known as Neglected Tropical Diseases such as dengue, chagas disease, lymphatic filariasis and leprosy."
The hospital information system is already used in countries around the world. Examples include hospitals in Argentina, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia and Qatar. The most recent implementation is a hospital with 120 beds in the city of Chittagong, Bangladesh.
The software and its developers last year was awarded by the Free Software Foundation as well as by the Spanish Portal Programmas website. The project was invited to participate in Medetel by Isfteh, a Swiss based NGO on telemedicine and e-health.