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; 6 years ago (2008-10-12)
Stable release 2.8.1 / February 8, 2015; 7 months ago (2015-02-08)
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 (Linux, FreeBSD, MS Windows) and different database management systems (PostgreSQL). It's written in Python and uses the Tryton framework.


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]
  • 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).[2]


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.

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.[3]
  • GNU Health won the awards PortalProgramas 2012 and 2014 for Most Revolutionary Free Software [5] and Software with Largest Potential of Growth in 2012.[6]

See also[edit]


Other news and articles

External links[edit]