GNU Health

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GNU Health
GNU Health patient main screen.png
GNU Health patient main screen on Tryton
Original author(s) Luis Falcón
Developer(s) GNU Project
Initial release October 12, 2008; 7 years ago (2008-10-12)
Stable release 3.0.2 / July 13, 2016; 8 days ago (2016-07-13)
Development status Active
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Hospital Information System
License GNU GPL

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 as one of its components.


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, a non-profit non-governmental organization (NGO) that works in the areas of health and education with free software.

Project Milestones[edit]

  • 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 Brasileiro (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][2]
  • 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: Release of version 2.4.0
  • 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. The Live CD offers a ready-to-run system with actual GNU Health and the Demo Database pre-installed.
  • July 6, 2014: Release of version 2.6.0. Adds hash functions for document verification; digital signatures and GPG integration.
  • February 1, 2015: Release of version 2.8.0. Adds Tryton 3.4 compatibility, data aggregation and synchronization features for distributed environments, a Universal Person Unique Identifier (PUID) and Universal Unique Identifier (UUID) implementation, a HL7 FHIR server, birth and death certificates, and enhanced crypto features (GNU Privacy Guard integration).[3]
  • January 11, 2016 : Release of version 3.0.0:[4] Tryton 3.8 compatibility - including web client support -; Person functionality and disability module, inspired in WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health; basic Ophthalmology and Optometry functionality, and WHO ICD9 CM Volume 3 procedural codes


GNU Health is intended for health institutions and governments, to take care of the daily clinical practice, manage resources, and to improve Public health.


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 World Health Organization percentile and 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 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.
  • Ophthalmology : Basic Ophthalmology and Optometry functionality
  • Functioning and Disability : Based on WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and Laos Center of Medical Rehabilitation
  • ICD9 Vol 3 : WHO ICD-9-CM Volume 3 Procedure codes

Cultural Impact[edit]

  • GNU Health was presented at World Health Organization session "ICT for Improving Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health" in WSIS Forum 2013.[5]
  • GNU Health was awarded the Free Software Foundation's 2011 Award for Projects of Social Benefit.[6]
  • GNU Health won the awards PortalProgramas 2012, 2014 and 2015 for Most Revolutionary Free Software[7] and Software with Largest Potential of Growth in 2012.[8]

See also[edit]


Other news and articles

External links[edit]