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GNU Health

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Title: GNU Health  
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Subject: VistA, Hospital OS, Debian-Med, Tryton, Ubuntu-Med
Collection: Free Healthcare Software, Gnu Project Software, Health Care Software for Linux, Software That Uses Gtk+
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GNU Health

GNU Health
GNU Health patient main screen on Tryton
Original author(s) Luis Falcón
Developer(s) GNU Project
Initial release October 12, 2008 (2008-10-12)
Stable release 2.6.4 / October 4, 2014 (2014-10-04)
Development status active
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Hospital Information System
License GNU GPL
Website .org.gnuhealth

GNU Health is a Free Health and Hospital Information System that provides the following functionality:

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

It is designed to be multi-platform, so it can be installed in different operating systems (GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, MS Windows) and different database management systems (PostgreSQL). It's written in Python and uses the Tryton framework.


  • History 1
  • Usage 2
  • Features 3
  • Cultural Impact 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


GNU Health started in 2008 by Luis Falcón as a project for health promotion and disease prevention in rural areas. Its initial name was Medical. It has since evolved into a Health and Hospital Information System, with a multi-disciplinary international team of contributors. GNU Health is a project of GNU Solidario, which is a non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) that works in the areas of health and education with free software.

Main Development events

  • 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 Brazilian 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: 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: Release of version 2.4.0
  • July 6, 2014 : Release of version 2.6.0 . Adds hash functions for document verification ; digital signatures and GPG integration.


GNU Health is intended to run in Health Centers, to take care of the daily clinical practice as well as to manage health center resources.


GNU Health uses a modular approach around the kernel, with different functionality that can be included to meet the health center's needs. The current modules are:

  • Health: Main data model for objects such as patient, evaluations, health centers, diseases, appointments, vaccinations and medicaments
  • Pediatrics: Includes models for neonatology, pediatrics and psychosocial evaluations (Pediatric Symptoms Checklist - PSC)
  • Pediatric Growth Charts : Including z-scores charts
  • Gynecology and Obstetrics: Gynecology, obstetrics, perinatal information and puerperium
  • Lifestyle: Physical exercise, diets, drug addictions, National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) recreational drug database, Henningfield ratings, sexuality, risk factors, home safety, child safety
  • Genetics: Hereditary risks. Around 4200 “disease genes” from the NCBI / GeneCards
  • Lab: Manages the request, creation and evaluation of laboratory analyses. Interface to Laboratory Information Management System
  • Socioeconomics: Education, occupation, living conditions, hostile areas, child labour and prostitution, among others.
  • Inpatient: Patient Hospitalization, bed assignment, care and nursing plans.
  • Surgery: Pre-operation checklist, procedures, operating rooms, patient surgery history.
  • Services: Groups health related services for the patient. It also allows to generate invoices / billing to the selected services. Replaces the initial "invoice" module.
  • Calendar: Adds functionality to connect with a CalDAV client, and manage calendars for appointments.
  • Inpatient_calendar: Manages calendars for patient hospitalizations and bed assignments.
  • QR Codes: Includes Quick Recognition (QR) Codes for identification
  • History: Specific reports for patient clinical history
  • MDG6: Millennium Development Goal 6. Functionality to fight Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
  • Reporting: Generates graphs for epidemiological and health center related information.
  • Nursing: Nursing functionality. Patient roundings, medication administration and procedures.
  • ICU: Intensive-care Unit functionality.
  • Stock: Pharmacy stock management and automatic stock moves generation on medical procedures.
  • NTD : Base module to cover Neglected tropical diseases
  • NTD Chagas : Functionality to prevent, diagnose, control and manage Chagas disease . This module is part of the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) series in GNU Health.
  • NTD Dengue : Surveillance and management of Dengue fever . Part of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) series.
  • Imaging : Functionality for Diagnostic Imaging orders and management.
  • ICPM : WHO International Classification of Procedures in Medicine
  • Crypto : Support for document digest / record integrity check with hash functions ; digital signatures and GNU Privacy Guard plugin.
  • Archives : Functionality to track legacy or paper-based patient Health records.

Cultural Impact

  • GNU Health was presented at ICT for Improving Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health" in WSIS Forum 2013.[2]
  • GNU Health won the awards PortalProgramas 2012 for Most Revolutionary Free Software and Software with Largest Potential of Growth.[4]
  • GNU Health won the awards PortalProgramas 2014 for Most Revolutionary Free Software.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Free Software vs Open Source: Tryton vs OpenERP". 8 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "ICT for Improving Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health". 14 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Lee, Matt (26 March 2012). "2011 Free Software Awards announced". Free Software Foundation. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Premios PortalProgramas al Software Libre 2012". 4 January 2013. 
  5. ^ "Premios PortalProgramas al Software Libre 2014". 29 October 2014. 
Other news and articles
  • . Luis Falcon speech at OSC2014. Tokyo, Japan. October 19th 2014GNU Health : Helping Governments in the fight against Social Diseases
  • GNU Health : Improving Children's and Mother's lives with Free Software
  • . Article in La Provincia, July 3rd 2013Luis Falcón : Sin Salud Pública no hay Desarrollo
  • Success of GNU Health goes beyond free software
  • GNU Health en Hospitales Públicos. Ministerio de Salud de Entre Ríos
  • ALPI es pionero en la informática médica de Argentina gracias a la implementación del Software Libre: GNU Health
  • Article in El Mundo: Liberar la salud con "software"
  • Article in Linux Magazine: Projects on the Move
  • GNU Health at the United Nations University
  • TechRepublic. 10 open source projects that could really use a donation
  • GNU Health é software livre para uso na área de saúde .- Linux Magazine Brasil Oct 2011

External links

  • GNU Health official website
  • GNU Health Translation Portal
  • GNU Solidario
  • Tryton Project website
  • Pediatrics Symptoms Checklist
  • European Community Open Source Observatory and Repository
  • Gabriela Brenes and Luis Falcón of GNU Health interviewed on the TV show FLOSS weekly on the network
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