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Re: [Health] [Health-jamaica] Ebola, MERS, Zika, N.N. and GNU Health

From: Keith C. Perry
Subject: Re: [Health] [Health-jamaica] Ebola, MERS, Zika, N.N. and GNU Health
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2016 13:02:08 -0500 (EST)

Just adding a bit to Armand's comments.

Here in the US GNU Health hasn't really gained that much traction though I talk about it with perspective clients whenever possible from the stand of GNU Health being the base system that would be customized for specific use.  The problem so far has always been centered around migration efforts which is a different issue.

As I envision a solutions, deployments would be to leave GNU Health intact because I also believe the core of the system does not need to be changed.  Instead, I would be developing any specific screens in HTML5 for desktop and mobile use by medical professionals where needed.  Since my LAMP applications do not use Python it works out that customizations would be separate from GNU Health while still leveraging the power of the base system.

Even though that is more of an effort, I don't think its really that much more practically speaking.  When you conceive of GNU Health as a central repository of information and specific efforts work by interfacing to the system (I know I'm being generic but I've only looked at this from a viability point of view in my tests so far), you get a more adaptable and agile system in the long run.

In the interest of promoting GNU Health, for me this is the better approach.  I get to talk about a solid foundation and being to extend and customize to the client needs.  It's not always going to be practical to wait for module to show up in Tryton or GNU Health and I think that is exactly right as only "core" things should in my opinion.  There is always going to be a need to customize and that should NOT be avoided.  The ability to customize illustrates a major strength of GNU Health and from what I've seen so far, that is a winning concept.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Keith C. Perry, MS E.E.
Owner, DAO Technologies LLC
(O) +1.215.525.4165 x2033
(M) +1.215.432.5167

From: "Armand MPASSY-NZOUMBA" <address@hidden>
To: "health" <address@hidden>, "christoph larsen" <address@hidden>
Cc: address@hidden
Sent: Tuesday, February 2, 2016 8:40:02 AM
Subject: Re: [Health] [Health-jamaica] Ebola, MERS, Zika, N.N. and GNU Health

Dear Chris and Luis,

Let me add my voice to this debate and I apologize in advance if my "straight talk" hurt community members.
I am happy to see that GNU health is really getting the attention that it deserves from health professional at global level. I have worked for big health institutions. I tested and developed a number of health related applications. Most of these systems were aimed at delivering statistics. This is indeed what most of these institutions are merely interested in (from an IT point of view).

In my opinion (this is only my opinion), GNU Health is mature enough to be used as a standard and multi-purpose health application. This includes all the needs expressed by Chris. It is based on Tryton. I would not repeat here the robustness, reliability and flexibility of this platform. It includes all health related standards (including ICD-10). More, The patient is at the core of the system. It is free and Open source software. GNU Health has a very detailed patient database. Of course we should make a difference between the database and the interface of system. The interface can be extended by adding new modules. However the core of the system does not need to be changed. 

The challenge I experienced with most applications and most IT projects developed in big organization is that:

1/ They were initiated to satisfy the needs of these organizations, not the needs of those who really need it (the health professionals on the field). Why: because most international actions on health (EBOLA and now Zika) are still what I will call "event-based". This means that most funds and resources are allocated  to the diseases that make the most "noise", those that will be announced in big media like CNN. Although I agree that it is important to focus our attention on these diseases, we should not forget the primary focus of GNU Health:

- To improve the health of the people in the small cities and rural areas of Africa, Latin America or Asia
- To bring equity in health

GNU Health is definitely achieving this goal.

2/ UP to now there was very little interest in developing IT tools that will improve the work of health professionals on the field. Even Ebola has not changed that. Fortunately GNU Health is going against this trend. 
Most doctors continue spending hours dealing with issues that could be improved if they had tools like GNU Health. A lot of patients die for the same reason. 

Did we ask ourselves the questions why these epidemics are recurring? Luis mentioned it a little bit. How can you call a disease "neglected tropical" disease. Who is neglecting what?

3/ Having said that the main challenge currently is to promote GNU Health. No matter how much effort it will take, let's make sure that each health professional in developing countries know about this wonderful system (GNU Health). Let's make sure that most of them have tested it. The Tryton and GNU Health community have done a wonderful job. Let's make sure GNU Health reach the health professionals on the field.

Kind regards,


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