Some of you may know that I am participating in Google Code-in and that I am completing some tasks for OpenMRS. So, I guess that now is the right time to explain what OpenMRS really is.
OpenMRS (Open Medical Record System) is open source software consists of platform and reference application (here is the official website: http://openmrs.org/). It is a non-profit project aiming to improve the healthcare in developing countries all over the world.
OpenMRS was founded in 2004 by Paul Biondich, Burke Mamlin, Hamish Fraser and later also Chris Seebregts. Already in February 2006 the first real deployment had been in Kenya. In 2010 was OpenMRS used in at least 23 developing countries. And it has continued spreading around the world, mostly in Africa (you can see actual status here). In 2012 OpenMRS won Free Software Award for Projects of Social Benefit. And OpenMRS 2 was released in February 2014.
With knowledge of basic history, let’s look on OpenMRS goals and missions. How I said previously the goal is to provide a better healthcare in developing countries and fight with diseases like HIV. So OpenMRS develop software which allows patient tracking and capturing vitals in electronic form. This medical record system has to be transparent and easily adaptable to different needs. It is focused on dealing with real case scenarios and good documentation and support so it can be easily implemented in new places. And actually most work is around OpenMRS 2 which brings a new modern user interface which is more friendly for users.
You are probably wondering how this OpenMRS looks like. Well, you can check it on http://demo.openmrs.org/ (username: admin, password: Admin123 😉 ). OpenMRS is a client – server application which means that clients are accessing information on a server. Also OpenMRS consist of platform and reference application (modules) which are adding additional function depending on actual needs. Because OpenMRS is an open source (you can get all the code on GitHub) it is fully customisable. In the core of the platform is a concept dictionary which stores all drugs, diagnosis, procedures, general questions and answers which can be summarize and analyze and it minimizes use of free text. Other layer of the system are API and web application. OpenMRS has modular architecture so new modules can be easily added and they have full access to the system. Most of the modules can be found here: https://modules.openmrs.org/.
Write Code. Save Lives.
OpenMRS is always looking for new talented developers (the main programming language is Java) or anybody who would like to contribute for example creating documentation, web design or localization. Joining the community pretty simple and most information can be found here: http://openmrs.org/help/. You just have to get OpenMRS ID and join OpenMRS Talk (the forum where disused different topics) and join the IRC (Internet Relay Chat). And don’t be afraid to ask, everybody like to see new contributors. Then you just have to find a project or issue to work on and have fun 🙂 .