Weighing Mobile Options - Form Entry & Offline Caching

Application Name: Other - Mobile Support Version Number: Reference 2.5

Question: Hi, OpenMRS community! I’m a new implementer and just want to make sure I’m headed down the right path before I get too far in. At the home office, all of my users will have access to a proper web browser and will be able to access the application on an Amazon EC2 instance. However, my providers in the field will have very little internet access (it is very spotty). They also switch between clinics, meaning I would like to give them a device that they can take with them each day.

From what I’ve read, the Android OpenMRS application seems like the most active/updated of the mobile technologies. Would you agree? Would this alone be enough for me to plan on piloting android-based devices? While I would love to keep cost down, I rather spend the money to provision devices that give providers the best experience.

To give some more information, we’ll have quite a few custom forms that need to be entered while in the field. Does the Android app have the best support for a particular type of form (i.e. HTML forms, traditional, XForms, etc.)? Do any of the mobile options have support to download the ENTIRE database (rather than selecting particular patients)? Knowing that they’ll have limited internet access (and they cannot predict which patients will come in), being able to download as much data as possible will be important.

Sorry for all of the questions! Any insight is much appreciated.



There isn’t an option to download the entire database at once, but individual download buttons.

The Android app uses the forms returned by the REST Api, so make sure to have json forms in place before you deploy. We have moved away from XForms for Mobile.

The other features, including offline caching and patient creation and syncing later is already available in the app. :slight_smile:


Thank you very much for your speedy response. It sounds like the way to go… and I’ll stay away from XForms.

Regarding the caching - bummer! I can see that it could be an bad idea for those with larger databases. I’ll try the app out and see how much of a problem it’ll present for us. Perhaps there are other carriers that will provide better service so that we can have a mobile hot spot.



Sure! :slight_smile:

Or you could download all the patients one by one before going out on field. “Download all” is an option that we can think of putting in the app as a feature, I will set up a task for this.

Best of luck!