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[Gnumed-devel] Medical/Dental OSS survey

From: Kevin
Subject: [Gnumed-devel] Medical/Dental OSS survey
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 02:49:34 -0400
User-agent: Thunderbird (Macintosh/20060308)

Hi List-

I'm new here, but very interested in GNUmed and similar projects. My wife is a dentist and I'm a computer geek with near-fanatical attachment to Linux and other OSS and more than 10 years of experience with Linux, so GNUmed and similar projects are extremely interesting to me for many reasons. I'm generally interested in all such projects, but especially interested in non-hospital, independent practice oriented projects like GNUmed.

Lately, I've been trying to conduct a very thorough search for medical and dental practice management software tools in the open source arena. There does not seem to be much in the way of stable, production-ready products that match that description right now, but I have found some interesting projects and thought I'd list some of the ones I've found (in case they are new in this forum) and try to open a discussion in the hopes of learning about some others that list-members may know about that I'm clueless about.

I have spent several hours browsing and searching through this list's archive on gmane, and the archive has made me aware of a number of projects that I was previously unaware of, and for that I'm already grateful to the members here who are working on GNUmed. I'm also very grateful that you are all developing GNUmed. I hope to be able to use it in my wife's business someday, though as you all readily agree in the archives, it's far from ready for production use today. I may even be able to contribute to the project at some point, but first, I just wanted to start this discussion and see what shakes out as a result.

I know about the following projects (and I offer my personal opinion/commentary which is based on very cursory review of them in parentheses). I'd love to see other list-members do something similar with regard to these projects (and any others not listed here) in follow-up messages:

-odontolinux (apparently a LAMP-type web-based application; seems like it might be a dead OSS project---is anyone using this in production? has there been any recent development?)

-Open Dental ( It uses MySQL for the database engine and I've explored this a little and though it seems reasonably stable and usable to me (and is apparently now in production use in a number of settings), one thing that bothers me about it is that it currently runs only in Windows, awaiting further mono development work before it will run in Linux or OSX; additionally, it does not seem to have a community of developers behind it, but rather, a single dentist who is also a programmer (must be an amazing fellow to be able to make a living as a dentist and produce an apparently-stable production-ready practice management suite in his spare time... impressive!))

-ClearHealth (from a company called Uversa; see links at:

This company claims that their products: OP/EN ClearHealth and Uversa ClearHealth are both fully GPLed open source products, the latter being a commercial product with commercial support options and the former having no commercial support options (apparently for those who are technically capable themselves) (see link at: This also seems to be a LAMP-type web-based application but apparently there is at least one major organization who has the product in production use and there is also a HOWTO on their wiki for installing it on Debian: )

I also found this list:
some entries of which are really nothing but ideas at this point, though (LinuDent).

So, to wrap up, would the other list members be so kind as to reply to the list with any knowledge or commentary on the three projects I list above and perhaps any other projects you're aware of that I don't list here?

My short-term goal here is to find a stable, production-ready dental practice management software suite for my wife's business in the near future and at this point, it seems to me that for practical purposes (electronic insurance claims, stable, HIPAA-compliance, etc), there are not many options available right now, but it's clear to me that the people on this list have been thinking about this issue for a long time now and I hope that I might learn something from you regarding that short-term goal. That said, however, I also have a view of the long-term and I'm a strong supporter of open source projects and I know I'd enjoy helping to make something like that become a reality at some point in the future, regardless of what my wife chooses for her business.

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any replies.


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