Two Regenstrief innovators win AMIA's Lindberg Award for open source EHR work in developing countries

The prize recognizes technological research and innovation in informatics.
By Bernie Monegain
10:16 AM
open source EHR

Burke Mamlin, MD, and Paul Biondich, MD, of the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine, will receive the 2016 Donald A.B. Lindberg Award for Innovation in Informatics from the American Medical Informatics Association for their work on open source software.

AMIA's Lindberg award recognizes individuals for technological, research, or educational contribution that advances biomedical informatics.

Mamlin, an internist, and Biondich, a pediatrician, are pioneers in the development, testing, and use of open source software to support the delivery of healthcare in developing countries. 

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OpenMRS – the system that stemmed from their concept – is designed to be usable in resource-poor environments and can be customized with modules – laboratory test ordering and reporting, for example, or public health reporting – without programming. It is intended as a medical record system platform that can be adopted and modified wherever required. 

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As recently as 2015, when commercial electronic medical record systems were not equipped to handle the problems encountered in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, OpenMRS was adapted to help the large number of patients in extreme conditions.

Today, the OpenMRS community forms the world's largest open source project to develop health information technology for resource-constrained environments. The OpenMRS platform is deployed in more than 80 countries throughout the world.

In addition development of OpenMRS, which Mamlin led, he is also focused on computerized physician order-entry and provider interfaces with medical record systems. Biondich, who leads the Global Health Informatics program at the Regenstrief Institute and spearheads health information exchanges within resource emerging environments, also developed a decision support system, Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation.

Both Mamlin and Biondich joined Regenstrief Institute’s Center for Biomedical Informatics in 2001. The center focuses on clinical applications, computer-based decision support, data mining, advanced analytics, healthcare information standards and global health.

Mamlin is an associate professor of clinical medicine and Biondich is an associate professor of pediatrics at IU School of Medicine.

Approximately 2,500 informatics professionals are expected to attend AMIA's 2016 symposium in Chicago  November 12, when Mamlin and Biondich will receive their awards.

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