onlyconnect
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:11 pm

The Raspberry Pi is the perfect size and spec for a project taking it to small developing-world health clinics, networking several together and running an open source EMR program - so that the doctors can keep track of patients and their information. We would need to create a secure local network and encrypt all of the data on the SD cards.

The health impact of this would be huge, and would greatly improve our knowledge of health-care needs in developing areas of the world.

I am currently discussing this "ONLYCONNECT" project with several students and doctors, with a view to a pilot study in December. We would use donated keyboard/ mice- the displays would be TV sets from the clinic region itself.

We would drop in to a clinic, set it up, train operators and then audit the efficacy.


Nigel Berrie
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:01 pm

Is there any problem with different TV standards these days, eg in Francophone countries? Or are we all PAL standard nowadays? I have a strong suspicion that SECAM is still around, or is that not correct? Not to mention NTSC, but that may not be a problem in Africa, unless Liberia has it, with its American connections... Just a thought...

Nigel Berrie
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:13 pm

Because there may be a lack of TV's with HDMI interfaces, except in well-funded places... Must check exactly how the Raspberry Pi is meant to interface to a TV, but it is a fair assumption that it will be via the HDMI interface, isn't it? I will continue to browse and dig out that information.

Warringer
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:38 pm

Isn't there a composite interface for video planned for the Pi?

Would reduce the resolution, buts its not like you need to have a high resolution of the screen for the intended use here.

jacklang
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:48 pm

Yes, there is composite video

obarthelemy
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:50 pm

Yes. Both the model A and the B offer both Composite and HDMI output.
Sound is via HDMI or CD-quality jack.
Before you ask: yes, it lacks VGA. This has been argued to death; it's indeed a pity, especially since converting HDMI (digital) to analog requires an expensive active converter. But it couldn't be helped without going wildly over budget.

onlyconnect
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:54 pm

The current question is which software to use. My favorite choice so far is OpenMRS (http://openmrs.org). This is tried and tested, and has lots of support behind it.

The question is will it run, and how easy will it be to network the RPi so that a fully-functional EMR is possible.

It would be good to hear your opinions.

jamesh
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:21 pm

Quote from onlyconnect on September 11, 2011, 16:54
The current question is which software to use. My favorite choice so far is OpenMRS (http://openmrs.org). This is tried and tested, and has lots of support behind it.

The question is will it run, and how easy will it be to network the RPi so that a fully-functional EMR is possible.

It would be good to hear your opinions.

I like the whole idea a lot - I will add that software to my 'list of stuff that needs to be tested'

Thanks.

James
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Lob0426
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:42 pm

Thank you jamesh!

This indeed sounds like a very worthwhile project. This bring one question to mind that I have not seen in any of the forums. Phone modem support. In the developing world the only external means of communication will probably be a telephone line. This could be important as how else could you audit these systems easily. The other concern is if the system needs immediate support the phone line might be the only way to do it. Updates can be handled through the mail by USB stick or by SD card (possible if there is more than one RasPi). But if the system goes down there may be just to much delay in getting someone out there to fix it. I suggest that actual records be kept either on a SD card through an USB reader or a USB stick, or at least set up a backup plan to one of these.
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:59 pm

Quote from Lob0426 on September 11, 2011, 17:42
Thank you jamesh!

This indeed sounds like a very worthwhile project. This bring one question to mind that I have not seen in any of the forums. Phone modem support. In the developing world the only external means of communication will probably be a telephone line. This could be important as how else could you audit these systems easily. The other concern is if the system needs immediate support the phone line might be the only way to do it. Updates can be handled through the mail by USB stick or by SD card (possible if there is more than one RasPi). But if the system goes down there may be just to much delay in getting someone out there to fix it. I suggest that actual records be kept either on a SD card through an USB reader or a USB stick, or at least set up a backup plan to one of these.

I think we are more likely to want to support mobile phone based protocols (3G etc), as this (I think) is the infrastructure being put in to place - it's cheaper to install and doesn't have the problem of copper wiring being pinched (we have that a lot in the third world UK) . So worth checking out various 3G etc USB dongles I reckon.

I don't have one so not able to do it myself.
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onlyconnect
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:31 pm

I am pleased to see this interest in the project. You have come to the same conclusion as I have, in that using 3G will be a better strategy for centralization (based primarily on my time in Sri Lanka). I particularly have in mind areas of Malaysia as a pilot study. Of course we will need a multi-Rpi kit up and running here in Cambridge first.

onlyconnect
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Mon Sep 12, 2011 8:57 am

Ideally we would be off-grid entirely... solar power with eInk HDMI-interfaced screen so that the whole setup is low wattage and has a reserve battery cluster... it would easily be possible now, if there was interest from the eInk screen manufacturers! I think there would be crossover with the coming amazon tablet though.

onlyconnect
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing world

Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:36 pm

We also have the question of HOW one goes about requesting charitable donations of Rpi Units for projects such as ours. We would only start off with ~ 10 suggested for the pilot.

moomoollama
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing wo

Fri May 02, 2014 4:57 pm

I've been working on a similar project. I customized OpenClinic and deployed it on a laptop to a clinic in Nigeria. I will be testing the same system on raspberrypi soon. OpenClinic isn't as fancy as OpenMRS, but for a small clinic, it gets the job done.

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chrisryall
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing wo

Fri May 02, 2014 8:31 pm

I've been involved in electronic medical records "EPR" for a long time, with my first conversation wrt the hammersmith system, back in 1979. It's still not totally solved short of an expensive RAID based system, with multiple layers of hack protection, given the Draconian low on personal data in the developed world (a Denmark nurse was awarded millions when her HIV status became public knowledge).

Hacking isn't such a problem in 3rd world, but backup is rather worse and (in my experience, Pondoland 1978) even the electricity supply cannot be taken for granted. According to the World Service that hasn't changed!

So I'd say that paper and a ball point is … tried and tested :?

Sanyaele
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Re: Electronic Medical Records package for the developing wo

Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:52 pm

I know this thread is kind of old, but in the light of this ebola outbreak I am thinking one way we can help is an affordable patient record system, I am currently working on an educational project that uses the Raspberry PI as a Server, and WiFi only tablets as clients. The server is made up of a Raspberry PI b that runs LAMP, other components in the server box include a power bank (16000mAh), that powers the pi, and a MicroTik router, while the router is connected to an ubiquiti access point via poe. The battery can be connected to a mains or connected to a solar panel. The server is the most expensive part of this system, but more clients can be added by simply buying another low cost WiFi tablet that connects to the wireless Lan. I program in php, but I think the solution physicians in the field might need will be best delivered by Openmrs than openemr. But I have no knowledge of Java, so if this will work it will require help from people versed in openmrs and Debian, to be able to get a fast implementation of openmrs on the pi (perhaps an optimized image of raspbian running openmrs) . And any other support I am not currently foreseeing. Here is a document with the existing project we are just starting in the educational system: www.otomatikafriq.com/Otomatik_Servers.pdf

My name is Samuel Anyaele resident of Lagos, Nigeria in West Africa.
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