OpenMRS Holds World Wide Summit in Singapore

Theresa CullenOpenMRS held its first annual World Wide Summit for interested participants and contributors (including developers and implementers) in Singapore from December 8-14, 2015. The World Wide Summit meeting is designed to create a collaborative global space to share and discuss work and ideas about OpenMRS, showcase innovative development that has occurred over the last year, and support an OpenMRS Hackathon. This first annual summit was planned to build, support and grow the OpenMRS community as well as the OpenMRS software suite. The conference was attended by over 100 participants from 6 continents. There were more than 50 sessions by close to 30 speakers.

The seven-day Summit took place at the Singapore Management University (SMU) and was divided into three parts. First was two days of OpenMRS Tutorials, then three days of the Summit, and then a two-day hackathon.

In response to previous requests for specific educational opportunities, two pre-conference days were set aside for tutorials. The tutorials addressed specific topics of interest, and included information and training for health information technology beginners through advanced programmers.  Tutorial topics included an introduction to Health IT and OpenMRS, extending and customizing OpenMRS, OpenMRS concept management, getting data out and use of  the OpenMRS REST API using Angular JS and REST web services. Tutorial attendance included implementers as well as developers, and were designed to be interactive.

The conference included multiple presentations by approximately 30 speakers. Partially designed as an unconference, topics included the proposed new community governance model, an introduction and multiple discussions about the 2016 operational plan for OpenMRS, a lightning round designed to share developmental updates for the past 12 months, and presentations by current implementers throughout the globe. The proposed CY 16 OpenMRS Operational Plan was highlighted in six sessions designed to capture community feedback and help ensure that the operational plan reflects the needs and desires of the community. The operational plan is scheduled for implementation in Feb 2016, and is available in draft format on the OpenMRS wiki talk.

Additional sessions included:

  • How to support local OpenMRS communities.
  • How to grow OpenMRS distributions
  • Project Buendia which is building an OpenMRS-based solution for Humanitarian Relief (presented by Fabian Tamp of Médecins Sans Frontières).
  • Scaling Bahmni, a version of OpenMRS for rural hospitals in India which is now being scaled to other countries (presented by Vivek Singh of Thought Works). Bhamni integrates OpenMRS (Electronic Medical Record) with OpenELIS (Lab Information System) and OpenERP (Enterprise Management).
  • Lessons learned from deployment in rural India.
  • Information security in health IT.
  • How to ensure an increased role for women within the OpenMRS community.

Kenya team together with Paul Biondich at OpenMRS15 - Credit Burke Mamlin via TwitterThe discussions continued into the evenings as there were a large number of events that took place throughout Singapore, allowing attendees to experience the rich local culture and support continued interaction with each other.

The two day Hackathon was designed to create a rapid development space to meet some of the known needs of the OpenMRS software.

Deemed a success by the attendees, the OpenMRS community looks forward to the next annual summit, tentatively scheduled for December 2016.  The Open MRS community encourages your interest and participation in OpenMRS and planned attendance at either the next Annual Summit or the next Implementers meeting (dates and location to be announced)

In addition to the World Wide Summit, the traditional OpenMRS implementers meetings will continue to occur. The OpenMRS implementer meetings are designed to provide an appropriate venue for implementers and others to share implementation updates as well as current and future needs. These meetings have historically occurred in a country or region that is currently implementing OpenMRS, and should be viewed as a complement to the OpenMRS World Wide Summit.

The meetings support the mission of OpenMRS is to improve health care delivery in resource-constrained environments by coordinating a global community that creates a robust, scalable, user-driven, open source medical record system platform. Medical software helps ease the work of health care providers and administrators and provides them with the tools to improve health outcomes throughout the world. OpenMRS open source software is installed throughout the globe, and is used to support multiple clinical, public health and administrative settings. OpenMRS espouses user center design, an open, transparent and community drive process and a world with open standards and open systems work to achieve health equity.


Great article on the OpenMRS

Great article on the OpenMRS Summit by Terry Cullen. This is clearly a major transition event for the OpenMRS community as OpenMRS grows rapdily around the world and is implemented by the national governments of many countries. I checked the Twitter feed and hashtag for the conference #OpenMRS15, and found several other write ups on the Summit that provide additional information. I thought readers of Open Health News would be interested in reading these posts also.

  • Judy Wawira wrote this post in her blog The Doctor Will See you Now.
  • James Arbaugh wrote this post in his blog Missionary James.
  • Robert O'Connor wrote a post in his blog Rob's Musings.

If your readers know of other reports, please send the links over so can add them to this list. Roger A. Maduro, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Open Health News.