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Opportunities: Alternative Health Technology Low-Cost Health Management Information Systems. Fouad Riaz Bajwa FOSS Advocate OSHCA Conference 2007 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. What is Alternative Healthcare Technology and Access? AHT Introduction to the low-cost Alternative Hardware Access

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Alternative Health Technology

Low-Cost Health Management Information Systems

Fouad Riaz Bajwa

FOSS Advocate

OSHCA Conference 2007

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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What is Alternative Healthcare Technology and Access? AHT

Introduction to the low-cost Alternative Hardware Access

Examples of Alternative Hardware

One Laptop Per Child

Intel Classmate PC

INK mPC – Affordable Computer


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Alternative Healthcare Technology AHT

  • AHT involves a combination of Free and Open Source Software Health Management Information Systems and low-cost Hardware Access Technology Solutions.

  • Strategy involves identifying and educating potential Healthcare and Medical Services Provision entities that can benefit from Alternative Healthcare Technology.

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Alternative Healthcare Technology AHT

  • AHT facilitates breaking the commonly perceived norms that Healthcare and Medical Information Management Systems are very costly to implement or are scarcely available.

  • AHT Advisers are experienced HMIS professionals that have worked extensively in the area of implementing such systems in both SMB and Enterprise Hospital environments.

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Alternative Healthcare Technology AHT

  • AHT Advisers and Stakeholders can engage through both on-line and off-line consultations on a regular basis.

  • Stakeholders receive expert level advice and support from AHT Advisers including first hand experience case studies as well as capacity building, design, acquisition of FOSS technology, implementation and maintenance support.

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AHT Model

Local Availability of Knowledge

Alternative Software Availability

Expert Advice

Local Skills


Alternative Hardware Availability

On-line and off-line Communities

of learning and practice

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Types of Alternative Hardware

OLPC – One Laptop Per Child

  • Target Market: Schools

  • OS: Linux

  • Wireless: 802.11G

  • Video Play back – NO

  • Storage: USB device

  • Programs: Book reader, browser, email, PDF reader, text writer

  • Battery Run Time: 4hrs. (has a hand pull charger)

  • Extensibility: USB

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  • Liquid-crystal display: 7.5” Dual-mode TFT display (includes black and white daylight mode)

  • Expected cost: $140.00 *not sold to public

  • Strengths: Well integrated design, designed for rugged use. Inventive use of technology. Very Low cost.

  • Excellent TCO, Good brand recognition

    Weaknesses: Small number of software programs

  • (extremely limited use), subject to OS infections and OS alterations. Poor quality CPU for Media, low memory.

  • No ability to play Media

  • No more expected to be sold at US$ 175.00

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Types of Alternative Hardware

INTEL – Classmate PC

  • Target Market: Schools grades 5-10

  • OS: Windows XP or Linux

  • Wireless: 802.11G

  • Video Playback- yes

  • Storage: Writeable Flash memory 1GB

  • Programs: Variable, user controlled , Browser, Email, Media Player

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Classmate PC

  • Battery Run Time: 4 hrs

  • Extensibility: RS232 USB

  • Screen: 7” 800X400 TFT Display

  • Expected Costs: $250-400*

  • Intel does not make them so price will vary considerably

  • Strengths: Nicely Designed, good use of flash memory, nice choice of CPU. Has a much broader range of uses than the OLPC. Can be customized. Good PR and good brand recognition

  • Weaknesses: Smallest screen, cannot run more than 4 hrs on battery, subject to OS infections, requires maintenance, requires purchase of programs. Poor TCO

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Types of Alternative Hardware

INK mPC Affordable Computing

  • Target Market: Schools, Homes and Small Businesses

  • OS: Linux

  • Wireless 802.11G

  • Video playback- Yes

  • Storage: USB Device

  • Programs:Completely Open Source Operating System and Tools.

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INK mPC Laptop

  • Battery runtime 8hrs (double battery pack) – alternative charging possible as runs on 12volt supply

  • Extensibility: USB

  • Screen: 8.1” TFT 600X800

  • Expected Cost: $250.00 (or $210 for simpler version) to local partner, street price higher.

  • Strengths: Protected OS, Largest screen, Lots of programs, operates in multiple languages, plays all forms of media, excellent battery life, nice form factor. Excellent TCO

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AHT Sustainability

Global Knowledge








Local Knowledge

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Keeping in Mind

  • For both Open and Closed Source Software Systems, some risks are different, but as long as you're aware of them, you can manage them.

  • The first and foremost defense against any issue is being knowledgeable and then qualified developers and professionals.

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  • Develop local skills

  • One solution doesn't fit in every situation

  • Develop local communities of learning and practice

  • Bring multi-stakeholders together

  • Plan locally to deploy locally

  • Remember, there are costs involved in FOSS but these can be significantly reduced

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Further Reading

  • INK mPC

    • http://www.ink-media.org

  • Intel Classmate PC

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/classmatepc

  • OLPC

    • http://www.laptop.org

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Q & A Session

Thank You!