OpenMRS Ebola deployed in Sierra Leone

After 2 months of intensive work by the Ebola team led by Darius and the ThoughtWorks team, Shefali at Save the Children, Jonathan Teich and myself, we deployed the first version of the OpenMRS Ebola EMR in Sierra Leone in February. Since then we have worked to fine tune the system and add new features. Currently the system supports patient registration, clinical status and outcomes and ordering of medications and soon IV fluids. We are adding other clinical data including vital signs this week. We are using Sony Android tablets that are waterproof. The TW team did an amazing job of developing and deploying the system quickly, and Shefali and Jonathan made great contributions to the design. We are also doing some user experience evaluation.

The system is a little different from the MSF-Google tools announced last week. They use two Android Apps that talk to OpenMRS as the backend. I believe the Apps are based on ODK. For OpenMRS Ebola we have developed a custom HTML5 UI that displays well on the tablets. We have also put mucht of the work into developing a clean, easy to use drug and IV fluid order entry UI, building on the OpenMRS Order Entry business logic. We think the designs and code will be of interest to other OpenMRS developers and users as part of a more general tablet EMR UI.


Tremendous work by a very dedicated team! The UX work takes OpenMRS to a new level.

Hamish mentioned the work by MSF-Google (“Project Buendia”). This article is a high overview, but does mention the use of OpenMRS. The packaging of the tablet is great and would be worthwhile for all ebola treatment units – especially because it simplifies charging stations for the tablets and provides additional physical protection and better gripping of the tablets. OpenMRS runs on an Intel Edison in a custom clear plastic package with networking devices including wifi. This runs within the ETU. I’ve seen a demo.

Ellen Ball

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Very impressive. Thanks for sharing, @hamish! (And @ball!) It would be great to see a video demo (or even screenshots) of both the Save the Children and MSF user experience …

Great work to everyone! :stars: :+1:

Great work!!! :heart:

Agree. I think showing the UI, underlying concept layer and outputs would be awesome.

I see that Save the Children and Thoughtworks have now published a press release describing this work: