Open Source Health IT Platforms Join Forces to Form LibreHealth | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Open Source Health IT Platforms Join Forces to Form LibreHealth

November 12, 2016
by David Raths
| Reprints
Community formed to support the next phase of growth for open source health IT

Leaders from OpenMRS and OpenEMR, two leading open source health IT platforms, have joined forces to announce the formation of LibreHealth, a new initiative to expand on years of work by those communities’ volunteers.

OpenMRS has been one of the most successful open source projects in global health, deployed in numerous countries since 2004 with hundreds of installations, and maintained by an international community of contributors and experts. OpenEMR, created in 1998, has been the most widely adopted open source commercial electronic medical record worldwide, with about 800 downloads per week and recent adoption by large government organizations such as the Peace Corps, Armed Forces Retirement Centers and Israel Health Services.

In fact, OpenMRS co-founders, Burke Mamlin, M.D., and Paul Biondich, M.D., of the Regenstrief Institute in Indiana have been awarded this year’s Donald A.B. Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics at the AMIA Symposium in Chicago.

LibreHealth software will build on the best of both projects’ software and collaborative aspects, while extending the new community’s scope beyond the EMR to software in several other areas of health care.

“LibreHealth represents a bold commitment by members of the OpenMRS community to support the next phase of growth for open source health IT,” said Michael Downey, the former director of community for OpenMRS, in a prepared statement.

LibreHealth will be the foundation of a worldwide ecosystem of open source Health IT innovation, and will be a place where people can come together to build tools that enhance the quality of healthcare around the world, the organizers said. The LibreHealth EHR, made available under the Mozilla Public License, will build upon the successes of the OpenMRS medical record platform and the expertise of senior OpenEMR contributors. The new larger community will be a home for both downstream customizations of this software and complementary products to flourish under the maintenance of a wide variety of individuals.

The LibreHealth Steering Committee, a group of senior contributors to the OpenMRS and OpenEMR projects, has worked on the initial launch. The purpose of this founding group is to build a best-of-breed open source community that will not only involve customers through active engagement, but also introduce radical transparency that allows individual contributors to build the world’s best health IT software in efficient and innovative ways. The steering committee consists of key past OpenMRS and OpenEMR contributors Judy Gichoya M.D., Saptarshi Purkayastha Ph.D., Michael Downey, Jordan Freitas, Robert O'Connor, Tony McCormick, and Ada Yeung. Additional members from the OpenEMR and OpenMRS communities include Sam Bowen M.D., Ken Chapple, Hannah Downey, Art Eaton, Terry Hill, Sam Mbugua, Namrata Nehete, Nyoman Ribeka, Dawn Seymour, Rowan Seymour, Simon Savai, Martin Were M.D., and Kevin Yeh.

The community has entered into an agreement to join Software Freedom Conservancy, a leader as a nonprofit home to free and open source software projects with global impact. The Conservancy, along with its member projects, is a nonprofit organization organized as a United States 501(c)(3) designation, and may receive tax-deductible contributions to the extent permitted by law.

Education and training a core community mission

Through the LibreHealth Education Partners Program, the community will work collaboratively with universities and training institutions around the world to increase the number of skilled informaticians who can integrate health IT systems to improve healthcare outcomes.

“We are committed to using LibreHealth software to help train our students on cutting edge health IT systems”, said Martin Were, M.D., director of the Moi University Institute of Biomedical Informatics in Kenya, in a prepared statement. “For over a decade, our institution has been a supporter of open source software for healthcare, and we’re extremely excited to work with LibreHealth to increase capacity development for our students and for all of those we serve here in Kenya.”

 

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

Geisinger, AstraZeneca Partner on Asthma App Suite

Geisinger has partnered with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to create a suite of products that integrate into the electronic health record and engage asthma patients and their providers in co-managing the disease.

Analysis: Healthcare Ransomware Attacks Decline in First Half of 2018

In the first half of 2018, ransomware events in major healthcare data breaches diminished substantially compared to the same time period last year, as cyber attackers move on to more profitable activities, such as cryptojacking, according to a new report form cybersecurity firm Cryptonite.

Dignity Health, UCSF Health Partner to Improve the Digital Patient Experience

Dignity Health and UCSF Health are collaborating to develop a digital engagement platform that officials believe will provide information and access to patients when and where they need it as they navigate primary and preventive care, as well as more acute or specialty care.

Report: Digital Health VC Funding Surges to Record $4.9 Billion in 2018

Global venture capital funding for digital health companies in the first half of 2018 was 22 percent higher year-over-year (YoY) with a record $4.9 billion raised in 383 deals compared to the $4 billion in 359 deals in the same time period last year, according to Mercom Capital Group’s latest report.

ONC Roundup: Senior Leadership Changes Spark Questions

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has continued to experience changes within its upper leadership, leading some folks to again ponder what the health IT agency’s role will be moving forward.

Media Report: Walmart Hires Former Humana Executive to Run Health Unit

Reigniting speculation that Walmart and insurer Humana are exploring ways to forge a closer partnership, Walmart Inc. has hired a Humana veteran to run its health care business, according to a report from Bloomberg.