OpenHealth Phase 1 Prototype

World Health Organization, 2007

We worked with the WHO to develop a functional prototype of a health information mapping platform with tools to define, capture and explore health and health-related data. The genesis for this project was for the WHO to provide freely available software for use throughout the world to get advanced notification of pandemics (eg at the time, SARS).  The technical approach, documentation and source code for OpenHealth helped to inform the direction of DHIS 2, a broadly used open source health management information system.

The Client

WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system.

Mitigating risks by developing a working prototype

When developing OpenHealth, a health information mapping platform with tools to define, capture and explore health and health-related data, WHO desired to create a prototype to uncover technical issues and mitigate risks whilst establishing the basic platform.

Delivering a working prototype

The OpenHealth prototype 2Paths developed featured a flexible user interface that worked with a sophisticated backend. The platform prototype allows for the integration of open source software and COTS components depending on the target configuration, i.e. field data collector, project standalone, project workgroup, program portal or program data warehouse. Java was used as the base language as it allows for a wide range of operating systems (e.g. Windows, Linux) and hardware deployments (e.g. mobile, laptop, desktop, server).

2Paths was responsible for the business analysis, technical architecture and software development and worked in partnership with two other Vancouver-based development firms. For this project, we successfully evaluated the client’s requirements, conducted appropriate research on the available technologies and risks, established an architecture and software design which resulted in a functional prototype to test the integration of technologies.

In addition, we analyzed the sample health data to be used for the prototype and developed a queryable online analytical processing (OLAP) cube, which effectively transformed the relational data into a multi-dimensional array of data to facilitate efficient querying, filtering and aggregation of the data.

Helping to inform DHIS 2 development

The source code for OpenHealth was provided to the University of Oslo during the scoping of DHIS 2, an open source health management information system used at various levels in 47 countries worldwide. While our software was not utilized directly, some of our approaches have helped to inform the direction of DHIS 2.

Technologies used

  • Java
  • Tequila
  • Ext JS
  • Mondrian
  • OLAP
  • MDX
  • PostgreSQL