A Breakthrough in Healthcare Technology
In an exciting development that marks a milestone in healthcare technology, Ona proudly unveils the groundbreaking rebirth of OpenSRP 2. After introducing the platform earlier this year, we reached another milestone in October when the Electronic Community Health Information System (eCHIS) launched in Uganda with over 1300 CHWs. As an OpenSRP product team member and the technical program manager who led the implementation and rollout of OpenSRP 2 in Uganda, I am thrilled to share the journey of creating this configurable application, which was made possible through collaborative efforts of UNICEF Uganda, Ministry of Health Uganda, and the Google Open Health Stack team among other stakeholders.
This milestone marks a significant achievement, as it is the first-ever FHIR-native application based on the Android FHIR SDK. OpenSRP 2 and eCHIS revolutionizes the way healthcare data is accessed and managed by adopting the FHIR data standard for data capture, and data storage, and computable care guidelines. FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) is an industry-standard protocol for exchanging healthcare information electronically, became the foundation of our innovation.
The Genesis of a Game-Changing Idea
Ona takes pride in our commitment to innovation and our dedication to creating solutions that have a positive impact on society as we use data to transform lives. The OpenSRP 2 journey began with our vision to create an intuitive healthcare application that utilizes FHIR to improve the healthcare landscape, leading us to embark on this ambitious mission three years ago.
Ona’s talented team of designers and engineers partnered with Google to harness the potential of Open Health Stack and rebuilt OpenSRP from the ground up to be a fully configurable application anchored in the Android FHIR SDK. Completed in April, OpenSRP 2 represents a significant leap forward in the realm of healthcare technology. By becoming the first company to develop a FHIR-native Android app, we have set a new standard for healthcare data accessibility and management.
OpenSRP 2 in Uganda
When we built OpenSRP 2, we used our experience to look at development from a health team’s perspective, resulting a product optimized for fast and improved implementation experience.
A typical project, such as eCHIS, would normally take several months to years of effort to be ready for production. With the new configurable approach in OpenSRP 2, it only takes a few weeks to months, depending on the scope — even with eCHIS being a first of its kind, technical work was only a few months. Technical development is faster because OpenSRP 2 provides foundational product functionality out-of-the-box via defining configurations rather than writing lines of code.
During the eCHIS project, Ona worked with MoH teams on content development and review. Rather than needing to translate content requirements into technical issues, OpenSRP 2 allowed MoH subject matter experts to directly author app questionnaires without requiring deep technical knowledge. This process allowed clients to define exactly what they wanted and freed Ona’s technical team to focus on hard technical problems rather than updating health content.
Since OpenSRP 2 begins from a ready product, with eCHIS Ona was able to take an iterative approach that let us quickly share updated app progress with subject matter experts and stakeholders, such as funder UNICEF Uganda, as they wrote health workflow content. We used standards-based questionnaires to render forms using FHIR’s Structured Data Capture library, allowing for a continuous development process and readying us to integrate with third party FHIR-based systems.
Lastly, pushing updates to a live production environment has never been easier. Because the app’s functionality is defined through configurations we pushed content updates seamlessly without interrupting live app usage by field teams.
eCHIS’s launch has seen a lot of excitement from Uganda’s Ministry of Health and village health teams with government plans to expand the app rollout to further districts. As we celebrate the launch of this groundbreaking FHIR-native Android app, we remain committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation in healthcare technology. The collaboration with our esteemed partners and the utilization of cutting-edge platforms like Google OHS have paved the way for a future where healthcare data is seamlessly accessible, secure, and user-friendly.
In conclusion, this achievement is a testament to the dedication, expertise, and collaborative spirit of everyone involved in this project. Together, we have set a new standard for healthcare applications, redefining the way healthcare professionals and patients interact with medical data. As we continue to explore new horizons in healthcare technology, Ona remains at the forefront, driving positive change and transforming the future of healthcare.
Ona is currently working on other projects with planned rollouts of OpenSRP 2 in countries like Liberia, Indonesia and Zambia among others. Please reach out to us on Zulip, Slack, or over email, firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss how your projects can benefit from FHIR based health data collection.