Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Top 100 Open Source Software Tools for Medical Professionals

Open source software benefits professionals in all industries: government, Internet, business, education, and even health care. Expensive software and subscriptions for anti virus systems, supporting electronic medical records and even phone or e-mail communications can put on a strain on small clinics as well as larger hospitals. Open source tools are free, highly customizable, and secure enough to handle the sensitive data that medical professionals often work with. Read below for our list of the top 100 open source software tools that benefit health care professionals.

Medical Billing and Electronic Medical Records

These open software tools will help you manage your medical practice, from organizing EMRs to billing.

1. FreeMED
The FreeMED project is a “system for medical providers that runs in any web browser in multiple languages.” FreeMED will keep your EMRs safe and organized.

2. OpenEMR
Take paperless billing to the next level by transitioning to an open source format. OpenEMR features appointment scheduling, patient registration, payment tracking and more.

3. OpenEMR Current
OpenEMR Current is another electronic medical records software system.

4. OpenEMR Virtual Appliance
This version of OpenEMR open source software runs with the FreeVMware Player and features the FreeB billing application.

5. FreeB
This GPL medical billing program can be used with any EHR system and “tracks basic demographics, procedure codes and diagnosis codes.”

6. SmartCare
This software develops EMR programs that can be used in disadvantaged countries, particularly Zambia.

7. XChart
XChart is a project by the Open Healthcare Group that promotes EMR, based in XML.

8. OpenMRS
This medical record system is a Web-based open source program that is designed for medical professionals working in developing countries.

9. Open Dental Software
This set of tools is designed just for dental offices. Doctors and staff can manage inventory, appointments and more.

10. ClearHealth
ClearHealth is powered by open source software and “covers the five major areas of practice operations including scheduling, billing, EMR, HIPAA Security and accounts receivable.”

Antivirus, Security and Privacy

From protecting and saving your research data to keeping patient information private, these open source security tools are vital for any medical professional.

11. PeerGuardian 2
PeerGuardian is an IP blocker for Windows operating systems.

12. Eraser
This free software program lets users remove private files from their hard drive through an advanced overwriting technique.

13. Clam Win
Perfect for health care professionals on a budget, this antivirus software is completely free. It also features high detection rates for spyware, a scanning scheduler, and an app that searches Outlook for virus-infected attachments.

14. PktFilter
Certain Windows users can utilize this security tool which configures IPv4 filtering devices.

15. The Open Anti Virus Project
Access a free anti virus system here.

16. SuperShredder
This file-shredding software makes sure sensitive data is completely destroyed.


17. Zimbra
Zimbra’s e-mail solution is used in government offices, education institutes and other business environments. Medical professionals will benefit from its fast backup and recovery of mailboxes, anti-spam and anti-virus protection, BlackBerry and other mobile device support, and flexible applications.

18. Thunderbird 2
Organize your inbox with the help of Thunderbird 2, a tool that “allows you to customize your e-mail to suit your needs.”

19. phpBB
Set up a forum on your medical blog or website with this popular program.

20. Mirth
This solution supports HL7 messaging, letting healthcare professionals manage and customize data interfaces.

21. Asterisk
This “complete telecommunications platform” features telephony actions like voicemail set up and call conferencing, so you can cut down on phone bills.

22. hMailServer
Cut down on costs with this free e-mail server for Windows.

23. Pidgin
This tool is especially useful for medical professionals who travel or are in private practice. Consolidate all of your IM accounts with this tool, which allows you to communicate with patients, family and vendors from AIM, Google Talk and other IM clients.

24. aMSN
If you’re addicted to your MSN chat service but need to communicate with contacts who use other clients, use aMSN to chat with users from any network. aMSN also features webcam support, offline messaging and chat logs.

25. MailArchiva
Organize your inbox with this open source tool that will help you archive incoming and outgoing e-mails.

26. OpenMoko
Learn about the project to “free your phone” and customize your mobile experience here.

27. Podcast Generator
Design and publish your own podcast with this open source software program. It comes with multi-language support, Web mp3 streaming and the ability to support any media file type, including mp3s, oggs, and mixed audio/video podcasts.

Graphics and Imaging

Use these graphics and imaging tools to view brain images, 3D images and more.

28. Eviewbox DICOM
This Java tool is a portable digital light box that lets medical professionals view all kinds of images, including DICOM images.

29. Gallery
Share photos with patients and office staff by using this open source tool. You can upload pictures onto your website and organize online photo albums.

30. Medical Image Viewer
This free program reads DICOM, raster and Analyze/Nifti images. Doctors can upload and manipulate medical images including an x-ray on their computers with this program.

31. Medical Imaging Interaction Toolkit
Also known as MITK, this tool features plane rotation modes, 2D and 3D views, RAW image import and data storage.

32. BrainVisa
This interactive software shows different images of the brain.

33. ParaView
ParaView is used “for parallel, interactive, scientific visualization,” according to Wikipedia.

34. ClearCanvas Workstation
ClearCanvas’ Workstation 1.0 is a DICOM PACS viewer for medical professionals.

35. Endrov
Endrove is a plugin that acts as a database, library and imaging program. Users can create their own editing tools, and the program can support XYZ, time and channel dimensions.

36. 3D Slicer
This multi-platform visual and image computing software system features manual editing capabilities, fusion and data co-registering, “visualization of tracking information for image-guided procedures” and interactive options.

37. MedINRIA
This medical image and processing tool displays high-quality algorithms.

This tool is “a competely free tool for viewing, analyzing, and registering volumetric medical imaging data sets.” AMIDE runs on Macs, PCs, Linux machines and more.

39. Tempo
Tempo displays brain electrical activity on your computer in a 3D format. Features include animated topographic maps, a 3D rotating head model and a free download.

Content Management Tools

Manage your medical blog or website with these user-friendly open source tools, which allow you to reach a wider audience and share your advice.

40. Joomla
Joomla supports “cutting edge content management” that stores images, presentations, and documents. It also has a simple installer, features an image manager and more.

Manage your web content with XOOPS, whether you’re setting up a forum on your site or just want to work on your blog.

42. Drupal
Drupal is flexible enough to support personal blogs and large interactive sites. Features include easy searching capabilities, indexing, customization accessories, online help and more.

43. WebGUI
WebGUI is “web done right.” It currently runs 10,000 websites, and allows users to sell and advertise products, maintain subscription services, beef up site security, publish articles, upload photos and more. It works whether you want to start your own healthcare business or simply dispense advice and attract new patients.

44. Caisis
This program tracks and manages data relating to cancer patients.

Research and Reference

For quick assistance for your research studies, take advantage of these open source reference items.

45. XTerm Medical Dictionary
This medical dictionary and database is updated twice a month, so you’re always current.

46. OpenClinica
This open source project is a “web-based electronic data capture system for clinical research.” The tool lets users manage data, submit new information, extract data, manage accounts and more.

47. PubMed
The U.S. National Library of Medicine sponsors this search tool that includes life science journals and other references.

48. caGrid 1.1
In an effort to connect scientists, tools and the medical community, this project makes cancer research data more accessible.

Medline is a free web-based database that holds journals, articles and other references for scientists and medical researchers.

50. MIX
MIX is a meta-analysis tool that’s free and open source. It works with Microsoft Excel and “can be used to reproduce the meta-analytical calculations and graphical data explorations of virtually all” meta-analysis data sets.

This free and open database is designed to “facilitate the exchange and pooling of results…for clinical care, outcomes management, and research.” LOINC stands for Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes.

52. The National Drug Code Directory
Look up drug products and information in this government directory.


For open source software to make the most of your audio, visual and mobile files, look to these free tools.

53. Krut Computer Recorder
Save and record audio and video from your computer screen with the Krut Computer Recorder.

54. Juice
If you’re in surgery while your favorite medical podcast or Internet program runs, you can use Juice to “create your own custom online audio anytime.”

55. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Interactive Tools and Resources
Access applications and reference tools from the NHLBI for your Palm OS or PocketPC device.

56. WFDB Software Package
WFDB, or WaveForm DataBase, Software Package is a toolkit “for viewing, analyzing and creating recordings of physiologic signals. It comes with a WFDB library, a set of user-friendly applications and more.

57. Sispread
Sispread allows medical professionals to simulate the effects and tracking of the spreading of infectious diseases.

58. Miro
With Miro, you can “turn your computer into an Internet TV.” Look up medical stories on the Discovery channel, catch up on the news during your break in the office, or upload your own YouTube tutorial to help others learn more about their health problems.

59. Audacity
Record patient interviews or your own notes using Audacity, a free, cross-platform sound editor that works with Mac OS X, Windows, GNU/Linux and other systems.

60. Moosic
De-stress in your office or in the operating room with this computer jukebox for Unix systems.

61. HandBrake
This version of HandBrake can translate audio and DVD files, as well as access Apple audio support, letting users watch video on their iPhones in a seamless format.

62. puka
puka is a software program from Physionet that is designed “for detection of breaths in strain gauge recordings.” The system is written in Java, and can read and write data from MySQL databases.

63. PeerCast
This p2p broadcasting tool lets medical professionals watch and listen to relevant tutorials, lectures and podcasts online. PeerCast also “lets anyone become a broadcaster without the costs of traditional streaming.”

64. MediaPortal
Since you spend so much time at work anyway, why not turn your PC into a media center to help you de-stress, catch up on the news, or even listen to music while you operate?

Storing Patient Information

Keep track of patient records with tools these open source office suites, address books and more.

65. Open Office
Open Office is the open source solution to the office suite. Create word processing documents, spreadsheets, and databases to stay organized. It’s also compliant with all other office suites.

66. The Address Book
Simply known as The Address Book, this tool can hold a “virtually unlimited” amount of contact info.

67. Rubrica
Rubrica is an address book for GNOME desktop users. It stores data based on XML but can export information to HTML and text formats too.

68. PostgreSQL
This program claims to be “the world’s most advanced open source database.” It can read foreign keys, works on many different operating systems and supports features like a point-in-time recovery system, online backups and more.

69. Freemed YiRC
Often abbreviated as FMYiRC, this tool is designed for child care agencies and youth in residential care organizations that need help setting up case management and information systems.

70. Bots
Share patient information and records by taking advantage of Bots’ “any-to-any-format” data conversions, secure communications and other features.

71. Chiapas
Chiapas is an HIPAA data translation solution that lets users supplement their SQL databases and patient information.

72. Future SQL
Administrators can manage, configure, and set up records and files on their MySQL database with this tool, which includes a data dictionary, customizable templates and more.

73. SugarCRM
Visit the SugarCRM site for open source tools that help you manage vendor information, patient contacts and more.

General Tools that Work for Everyone

Below is a list of general open source tools that prove useful to medical professionals too.

74. Firefox
This popular open source browser is fast and extremely customizable. From reference dictionaries to search engine add-ons, you can easily access research material and client information from your Firefox toolbar.

75. Feedreader
Feedreader is a tool that brings you the news you want quickly and easily. A user-friendly format means that you won’t have to waste time clicking through pages or figuring out the next step.

76. BitPim
BitPim “allows you to view and manipulate data on many CDMA phones from LG, Samsung, Sanyo and other manufacturers,” so that you don’t have to put up with annoying ring tones or sloppy display formats.

77. DBDesigner 4
Design your own database using DBDesigner 4.

78. Sunbird
Use this desktop calendar to keep you on schedule and up to date on appointments, presentations and more.

79. K-Meleon
Make your Internet search even faster when you use this highly customizable, “light” Internet browser.

80. FreeMind
FreeMind is a free mind mapping software tool that will help you brainstorm, make decisions and prioritize.

81. Bluefish
Medical professionals who are also web savvy can edit websites, write scripts and develop programming codes for their sites and blogs with Bluefish.

82. Time Stamp
This tool helps freelance and private practice healthcare professionals keep track of their billable hours.

Collaboration Tools

Collaborate with other medical professionals by networking online, inviting them to work on your desktop or taking advantage of remote access applications.

This version of the GNOME desktop features a remote desktop, simplified keyboard settings, networked filesystems, DVD and Digital TV capabilities and more.

84. Portable Apps
Medical professionals who use Windows can take all of their computer’s applications with them wherever they go with this nifty tool.

85. MirrorMed
MirrorMed is a web-based, open source EHR and practice management system that “is capable of running a healthcare practice.”

86. MedMapper
Download this “medical decision-making algorithm tool” here. Medical professionals can create visual algorithms to explain processes and collaborate on projects.

87. MyDrugRef
Find out what other healthcare professionals think about drugs and prescription medicines on this online forum and networking site.

Storing, Sharing and Managing Files

Manage and share files with these two open source tools, which are free and customizable.

88. Filezilla
This FTP solution is free, easy to use and multilingual. The system runs on Windows, Linux and Mac, and can transfer files larger than 4GB.

89. eMule
eMule is a peer-to-peer file sharing client that lets you download all types of files from the Internet, making it useful for research and preparing presentations.

For Patients

From public health to patient diaries, these open source programs are highly beneficial for medical professionals who work on cases large and small.

90. Diets in Details
Help your patients lose weight by introducing them to this free software program. It includes a database with over 50,000 food names and info., a calorie counter and a diary.

91. HippoDiary
This spreadsheet-like medical diary gives patients the tools they need to document their health and keep a health diary. It includes an XY-chart, customizable fields, and the ability to do mathematical calculations.

92. BMI Calculator
Quickly calculate your BMI or a patient’s BMR with this simple tool.

93. Food Additives
Nutritionists will enjoy this program that lists the food additives to avoid and checks the food you just bought to see how many harmful additives it contains.

94. AcreSoft Health Stars
For patients who have trouble staying on schedule and remembering to take their pills, introduce them to this free program that tracks blood sugar, miles walked, steps walked, doctor’s visits and more.

95. NetEPI
This public health and epidemiology project includes several different open source tools that feature a web-based outbreak database tool and more.

96. InfluSim
This tool lets medical professionals witness the simulated effects of an influenza pandemic.

97. Tapeworm
GNOME desktop users can use Tapeworm to track calorie, fat, protein and carb intake, as well as exercise efforts, weight gain or loss and more.


Find more miscellaneous tools here, from health information systems to free operating systems.

98. Care2X
This open source project includes a central data server, health exchange protocol, practice management and hospital/healthservice information system.

99. Open Health Services
This program “allow[s] for a wide variety of safe, secure reports and services to be delivered to consumers, leveraging the power of their electronic medical records.” Patients can access personal health records, manage sleeping and dietary habits, and more.

100. Debian
Debian isn’t just one open source software tool: it’s a free operating system based on Linux.

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1 comment:

KrishaLiva said...

Great post! I enjoyed reading this informative post about "The Top 100 Open Source Software Tools for Medical Professionals". This is very useful. Thanks a lot for this valuable information.

electronic medical records