OpenMRS for small mobile private practices

Has anyone successfully implemented OpenMRS on a tablet for a small private practice (<10,000 patients)?

I am interesting in implementing OpenMRS for a private practitioner in Haiti. He works out of several locations and it would be great if he could take his patients’ records wherever he goes. Having OpenMRS on a tablet or similar mobile device would be ideal, however with a client server infrastructure I am wondering how this could be done.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Max

Why not a chrome book - longer battery life too. there are mobile clients for OpenMRS too


I assume you’re talking about Chromebooks for the clients?

An OpenMRS server wouldn’t run on a Chromebook without changing the OS to Linux. (Which I think would reduce some of the battery performance you mention.)

@jamaitian are you thinking about running the entire OpenMRS application on a tablet, or just using a tablet to connect to the server using a web browser or mobile app?

Dear @jamaitian, welcome to the OpenMRS community.

I setup OpenMRS-jr on J2ME phones for Hospital Albert Schweitzer (HAS) Haiti. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with the latest versions of the xForms module. If tablet is your preference, there are several new mobile clients available for OpenMRS. There is the new iOS Client for Apple, and mUzima for Android. To use a mobile client, you would need to setup your server where there is a reliable Internet connection and power; perhaps consider hosting services. Your client devices would need some way to connect to the server over the Internet. For our HAS system, we ran the server in the hospital, and the mobile clients synced over WiFi when the users were on campus monthly.

If it’s only one physician using the system at a time, you could setup OpenMRS on a laptop, and access OpenMRS using that same laptop. If you needed additional users at the same location, that would be possible too. If you go this route, be sure to establish a good backup/recovery routine. Laptops are frequently stolen in Haiti.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask.

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@michael I was thinking of running the entire OpenMRS application on a tablet, hopefully to take advantage of using a stylus as a data capture tool. Based on other comments I could setup OpenMRS on the doctor’s laptop and the mobile client on the tablet and sync them over a LAN.

That is surely possible. I haven’t heard of anyone successfully running the OpenMRS server on a tablet, but someone may have “hacked” something together. :smile:

One possible example that I just found with a random Google search:

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Thanks @arbaughj thanks for your feedback, it’s given me some insight into how OpenMRS is deployed along with mobile client apps. The implementation I was looking to setup is for a single doctor’s office, so the single laptop running OpenMRS and browser pointing to localhost would work. You’re right about the risk of laptop being stolen. What backup/recovery methods do you recommend where internet connectivity is flaky?

“Hackers” any tips on how to do this? :sunglasses:

If you really want the tablet interface, and only one device, you might check into Laptop/Tablet Hybrids…

OpenMRS works OK with a touch screen, but it’s not optimized for it. You may want to try it before you decide that is the way you want to go.

I think the “Android OpenMRS” mentioned on this page was a server running on the mobile device.

For backup, maybe you could do a database dump, every day after work, to a USB/Jump drive that doesn’t stay with the laptop. If you need something quicker, you may just copy the database files. You may want to keep another laptop as a spare, with the apps already installed so you don’t loose so much time if there is a failure, or loss of the primary laptop. Just restore the data and go.

I hope this helps @jamaitian.

Very helpful @arbaughj I will let you all know how things move along and hopefully be able to share some lessons learned.

@jamaitian, Hosting OpenMRS base system in a mobile device is conceptually possible, but i highly doubt about the usability of it, since OpenMRS uses lots of memory and other resources. May be we should research more about that on next GSoC @michael

So the better workaround would be hosting OpenMRS on an external server (something like AWS) So you could easily choose one of the client of your choice (iOS/Android/etc) and point out your server & use anywhere! offline sync & stuff happens underneath those apps. in my point of view Hosting on a laptop also not a good idea , because you might need to care of several things that way (router availability, laptop, etc)

This is gonna be a cool idea, so i have just created a project page here: will try to research & if possible to implement this in one of GSoC, GCI programs. Stay tuned! :smiley:

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Thanks @harshadura I’ll be following OpenMRS OTG closely and assist in anyway I can.