GNU Health

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GNU Health is an open source electronic medical record (EMR) and Hospital Information System developed by Luis Falcon in 2008 with funding from GNU Solidario. It is currently in use in clinics in Nigeria, Ghana, Indonesia, Spain, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Brasil, Mexico and Peru." Organizations that are part of the GNU Health network are: Thymbra, B2CK, SILIX, FDSL, PRESIK, Panasip, Soluciones de inteligencia de mercados, LiberOrbis, The ministry of health of Jamaica and PY solutions." [1].

Features [2]

GNU Health is a free Health and Hospital Information System with the following functionality:

  • Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
  • Hospital Information System (HIS)
  • Health Information System

GNU Health at a Glance [3]

  • Strong focus in family medicine and Primary Health Care
  • Major interest in Socio-economics (housing conditions, substance abuse, education...)
  • Diseases and Medical procedures standards (ICD-10 / ICD-10-PCS)
  • Prescription writing
  • Billing
  • Patient Genetic and Hereditary risks : Over 4200 genes related to diseases (NCBI / Genecards)
  • Epidemiological and other statistical reports
  • 100% paperless patient examination and history taking
  • Patient Administration (creation, evaluations / consultations, history ... )
  • Doctor Administration
  • Lab Administration
  • Medicine / Drugs information (vademécum)
  • Medical stock and supply chain management
  • Hospital Financial Administration
  • Designed with industry standards in mind
  • Free Software. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later

Installing GNU Health

GNU Health is scalable in functionality, database size and transactional volume. For instance, you can install GNU Health in a single doctor office, or in country public hospitals network. Depending the type of deployment, you will think about a centralized (single instance) vs a distributed installation.

Benefits over Proprietary Systems

In a 2013 interview, Falcon discussed this issue. As he stated, "GNU Health is an official GNU program and community-based project, so

  • Administrators and providers can download GNU Health for free, study it, then adapt it to their needs.
  • There's no vendor lock-in, because there's no vendor. There are no hidden costs or upgrade scripts. Everyone will always be able to upgrade to the latest version for free.
  • There is an international community of support around GNU Health. We have community GNU Health demo server, documentation at WikiBooks, IRC channels, mailing lists, bug tracking systems, and a development environment."[4]

Concept of Patient Management

Patient is considered a party having either the "person" or the "patient" property. A party can be health professional ("person") as well as a patient ("patient").

Patient management and Admission management

A typical Patient admission page will have the following details:

Appointment ID Patient Type of Appointment Level of Emergency Date Specialty Health Professional Health Center

Socioeconomic factors in EHR's

The 3 modules of socioeconomic factors are: 1. Quality of Life 2. Infrastructure 3. Family

Quality of life covers the basic information such as housing conditions, education level, occupation, workplace and its conditions. The information in this menu is supplemented by a free text box where you can add relevant notes of interest

Infrastructure covers the patient basic services such as sanitary sewers, gas supply, telephone and internet.

Family module help to study the relationship of family function and health problems in family practice offices. This section provides a regulated score that assess adult satisfaction with social support from the family.


GNU is funded by Luis Falcón, it’s initial name is Medical. Following is main Development events. (From wiki)

  • October 12, 2008: Medical project registered at Sourceforge
  • November 2, 2008: Medical Version 0.0.2 is released at SourceForge
  • April 15, 2010: Medical is registered at Brazilan government Portal do Software Público Brasiliero (SPB)
  • July 31, 2010: The Project is registered at the European Community Open Source Observatory and Repository
  • April 16, 2011: Thymbra transfers GNU Health to the NGO GNU Solidario
  • April 18, 2011: Medical switches the development environment from OpenERP to the Tryton framework.[1]
  • June 12, 2011: The project is renamed from Medical to GNU Health.
  • August 16, 2011: version 1.3.0 is released, supporting Tryton and PostgreSQL.
  • August 26, 2011: Richard Stallman declares GNU Health an official GNU Package. At this point, the development portal is moved from SourceForge to GNU Savannah.
  • October 29, 2011: Release of GNU Health v 1.4.1 . This version is also included at the The Python Package Index - PyPI as a set of Python modules.
  • June 25, 2012: Creation of a public Internet GNU Health database test server in Amsterdam.
  • February 9, 2013: Release of version 1.8.0, compatible with Tryton 2.6 and Android client
  • March 18, 2013: Release of version 1.8.1, with Intensive Care Unit functionality
  • July 7, 2013  : Release of version 2.0.0 . Compatible with Tryton 2.8, New modules for Neglected tropical diseases, starting with Chagas disease. New Demographics section and Domiciliary Units management; new
server installer; improvements to the surgery module (ASA physical status classification system and Revised Cardiac Risk Index
  • Sept 22, 2013: Release of version 2.2.0 Dengue and Diagnostic Imaging Tests.
  • January 27, 2014: version 2.4.0 was released.
  • March 22, 2014: First release of the GNU Health Live CD with GNU Health 2.4 and Tryton-*Server 3.0.x on openSUSE 13.1.
  • July 6, 2014: version 2.6.0 was released. Features hash functions for document verification as well as digital signatures.
  • February 1, 2015: version 2.8.0 was released. Among the features of this updated version are: data aggregation, a Universal Person Unique Identifier (PUID) and Universal Unique Identifier (UUID) implementation, a HL7 FHIR server as well as birth and death certificates.

External Links

GNU Health GNU History[1] GNU group [2]


  2. Joinup
  3. GNU Health Summary