Medicine nowadays, in almost all parts of the globe, means using technology and different medical devices that are controlled using various medical software applications.
Medical software has been divided into several categories. There are all sorts of monitors that can control blood pressure, heart rate or breathing rate. The software is using the details provided by the sensors, gathering, processing and displaying the needed information.
Another category of medical software uses the data provided by the CT or CAT scans and offers the doctors medical information that they can use in order to prescribe a treatment. The expert systems are very valuable, as they simply assist the doctors when it comes to diagnosis and therapeutic purposes.
In fact, even the peacemakers or defibrillators are built using software that provides help to the patients in real time. Another category is the medical and healthcare educational software, which represents a study tool for all the doctors and healthcare professionals.
The medical software is also divided into three major categories depending on the safety level: class A, software that does no injury or harm to the patient, class B, software that could cause minimal injuries to the patient and class C, software that may cause serious injuries and even death to the patient.
Computer aided medical diagnosis is a relatively new branch in medicine, where the software is used to diagnose illness. This type of software uses the patient’s data that is processed by a computer.
Among the medical software that was released as public domain and is free for everyone, Epi Info deserves a special mention. It is a software program that is useful for epidemiology and has been developed by a team of scientists in Atlanta, Georgia.
The software is available as a Windows package and will allow the users to create electronic surveys, to enter data and to analyze it. The software is completely free and can be easily downloaded from here.
The software was very popular a while ago; back in 2003, there were one million persons downloading it and installing it on their computers. Epi Info allows you to input the needed data quite fast and runs a quick data analysis as well. At this point, the seventh version of the software is available for download.
Spatiotemporal Epidemiological Modeler is another software program that has been developed by IBM. It can be also downloaded for free. Using it, scientists can create and use spatial and temporal models of diverse infectious diseases. The STEM software includes also several plug-ins for the 244 areas and regions that have been defined by the Geographic Coding Standard. These plug-ins include geographic data, demographics and basic models for different diseases.
Open Dental is a software package that was created in order to help the doctors from the dental sector work better. The program was first released in 2003 and installing and using it requires Microsoft Windows. The commercial version includes licensed materials from the American Dental Association as well.
FreeMed, a software program which is available in multilingual versions, represents an open source electronic medical record. This software package is very popular throughout the entire globe, as many people from all over the world have downloaded it and use it. The software has been translated to several languages already.
GNU Health is a hospital information system that provides the user with Electronic Medical Records, Hospital Information System, and Health Information System. The software can be installed on different operating systems, and this explains why the software has been downloaded by numerous users worldwide. The program was created to help run the Health Centers and take care of the everyday medical activities. In 2011 the soft has been awarded the Free Software Foundation Award for Projects of Social Benefit.
OpenEMR is a free and open source software application that helps practice management and Electronic Medical Records. It also provides billing, internalization and its developers also offer free support. Nowadays it is one of the most used software applications, being downloaded by thousands of people each month.
The program will help scheduling the patients, provides medical billing, prescriptions, electronic medical records, clinical decisions rules, reports, security and free support. This application was awarded in 2012 the Bossie Award for the best open source application.
The Canadian health care professionals use the OscarMcMaster software, a web based electronic medical record system. When it was first launched, it was only meant to help the academic primary care clinics, but as years have passed, the application has been developed a lot and is now a competitive and very useful tool for the Canadian doctors. The package has received several certifications, being supported by the OSCR Canada Users Society.
Oscar proves to be a very useful tool for the doctors. It stores the medical records for all the patients that come to a clinic, their detailed medical history, progress notes, as well as different forms of documents and forms. The software is also allowing the user to make prescriptions, save all sorts of personal information and inform the health care practician on possible interactions between the drugs prescribed.
Among the software applications that help the management, ClearHealth is one that takes care of five important areas: scheduling, billing, EMR, HIPPA Security and accounts. It represents one of the most used applications, serving more than 100,000 patients at the moment.
Most French doctors use Medin Tux, a software package that provides not only a web based interface, but also a desktop one. Medin Tux was first created to help the ER of hospitals. As it proved to be very useful, it was soon expanded and is currently used in several French clinics.
Drishti is a software program that allows the user to access a volumetric view of a tooth. It was first created to visualize tomography data, electron- microscopy data, etc. Due to its complex programming, the application provides volume rendering, 2D transfer functions, clipping, streamlines, masking, brick animations and the ability to save the rendered movies from within the program. Due to the full code rewriting that took place last year, the software is now very stable and provides great help to the doctors that have installed it on their computers.
Almost all these programs provide electronic medical records systems which have proved to be very helpful. When you use such a program, you have instant access to scanned documents, no matter how long ago they were stored. This way, the use of paper is eliminated and the risk of losing or misplacing the records is avoided. As paper is no longer used, money is saved and the expenses are kept at a minimum. This means that all the space that was once used to store the important documents and the patients’ records can now be reused for better purposes.
The medical software programs have gained a lot of attention lately, and more and more hospitals and doctors start using them. Among their numerous benefits, keeping the patients loyal should not be overlooked.
Due to online schedules, the notifications regarding the results of the medical examinations and tests, etc, the patients are more willing to choose a certain doctor, clinic or hospital.
Not only have the patients had a gain, but the medical institution as well: the document and data flow, as well as all the information flow is uninterrupted. This means that all the critical decisions can be taken fast, the expenses are kept under direct control, and thus the needed money can be allotted rapidly.
Check out the Resources page to see the links to all the medical software applications mentioned in this report.