You nailed the general dichotomy here... Native apps many times have better or more mature features but acceptance in the FOSS world is low because HTML5 and other browser technology is more desired- its closer the spirit and philosophy that app interfaces should be as agnostic as possible.
That said, GNU Health uses native X11 and Windows clients because the GNU Health use the Tryton
framework. I don't know of any HTML interface currently available but I think that that is ok for a couple of reasons:
1) The best deployment scenario for Health IT organizations (any really anyone dealing with HIPAA information) is client facing interfaces that aren't easily exportable outside the corporate network. This ends up being another layer of security.
2) Nothing is preventing customization or other client interfaces being written in HTML5 interfaces.
I'll concede that #1 is not much of a point. However it is still a point- any security layer gain without actively doing something is a positive in my book. #2 is the important point. One of the two issues with GNU Health is that it has a slant toward Hospital IT and EMR at that level. In the US however, the more critical need for EMR is at the local / community level practice. The common need satisfied by GNU Health in both cases is patient demographics and basic health parameters (weight, height, current ailments of diagnosis). That leads to a second issue- specialties. For example, GNU Health currently does not have specific modules for any ortho or opto related disciplines. That not surprising because US (or "western") patient care is not the target market. The new 2.8 release is suppose to be adding a module that make inroads into supporting more specialties but until its out I don't how it might be used.
One of the studies I've been working on for a perspective client has evolved into looking at this as a two stage project. Basically, GNU-Health can be used to track patient demo (as well as billing) and then subsequent FOSS development can complete requirements for GP's or specialists. In other words GNU Health can provide the basis for FOSS Health IT work. The biggest technical hurdle is getting the data out of current closed source / custom applications.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Keith C. Perry, MS E.E.
I figured I would past this along to PLUG since every so often there is a
side conversation about Health IT. Some of you may or may not be aware of
GNU Health which is pretty popular outside of the US (which means there's
opportunities in the US **wink**). The upcoming 2.8 release is going to
include a number of community requested features so this is a good time to
get an intro to the product which Luis has told me should be out this coming
Does it have a web-based client? It looks like it is strictly X11 on
the client side.
Sorry to pick on this - it looks like a great idea (and I see there is
a related LIMS on the agenda), but this is a bit of a pet peeve of
mine. I think adherence to things like GTK/X11/etc for anything other
than building browsers, window managers, media players, and the like
is something that is probably going to start working against FOSS.
Especially for something like medical data there is a lot of reason to
avoid putting anything at all on client workstations, whether that be
code or data. However, it applies just as much to email, office
productivity software, etc. I'd rather not be using Google Docs for
everything but there needs to be an alternative for that to be
possible, and the irony is that Google Docs isn't that hard to beat
feature-wise (Openoffice already far surpasses it, but loses because
you can't run it from a browser).
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