This is an interview with Dr Tom Kane and his student Euan Livingstone in Tom’s office at Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) on 2016-07-06.
Tom and Euan are investigating ways of running GNU Health for evaluation and demonstration purposes, using multiple Raspberry Pi systems and an Intel NUC. In particular they want to evaluate the conformity of interoperability (FHIR) standards, and are trying to build a reference implementation for decision makers who are procuring a Health and Hospital Information System.
In the interview Tom used some terminology that I have provided links for here and at the end:
- LIMS: Laboratory Information Management System
- PACS: Picture Archiving and Communication System
- FHIR: Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources
I had forgotten where I’d seen Luis Falcón, originator of GNU Health, being interviewed. It was on FLOSS Weekly, as linked below.
The Raspberry Pi’s are able to run GNU Health itself.
The Raspberry Pi 3’s are not all in use all of the time yet. This is partly because the project is still in the development stage and partly because there is some doubt about the 10-port hub’s ability to power them all at the same time.
The Pi’s are all using Ethernet connections at the moment, though the built-in Wi-Fi is a possibility.
The topmost Pi is connected to a small SSD for storage purposes.
1. The tower of ten Raspberry Pi 3 systems
2. The tower of ten Raspberry Pi 3 systems with the 10-port hub
Some of the Pi’s are mounted on case tops which had to be drilled out for the nylon stand-offs fixed to the boards. The original metal stand-offs had screws top and bottom, but removal of the screw heads allowed them to be joined together.
3. The tower made from modified individual cases
4. Close-up of the tower
5. The 10-port hub may be a little under-powered for 10 Pi 3’s
The NUC is used to run VMWare VMs running some of the support systems like a database, and the PACS image library. Further details below of what is is being run.
6. An Intel NUC with an i7 processor, 16GB RAM and an SSD
The NUC is being used to run virtual machines for setting up components needed to support GNU Health, like PostgreSQL, a PACS server and a LIMS server. Some of these have already been migrated to Raspberry Pi’s as shown below.
- 4 x GNU Health application running on the Tryton Server, installed on Ubuntu 16
- 1 x Shared database on a PostgreSQL Server, installed on Ubuntu 16
- 1 x Orthanc PACS Server, installed on Ubuntu 16
- 1 x BikaLIMS LIMS Server, installed on Ubuntu 16
- 4 x GNU Health application running on the Tryton Server, installed on Raspbian
- 1 x GNU Health application running on the Tryton Server and a database on a PostgreSQL Server, installed on Raspbian
- 1 x OrthancPi PACS Server, installed on Raspbian
1. GNU Health Web Interface
2. Laboratory Information Management System
3. Orthanc DICOM server for medical imaging
4. Orthanc Web Viewer example image
Thanks to Tom and Euan for taking the time to talk to me.
- GNU Health website: http://health.gnu.org/
- GNU Health Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Health
- Tryton application platform: http://www.tryton.org/
- Luis Falcón, MD:
- Wikipedia page for SAP SE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAP_SE
- LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System):
- Wikipedia page : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laboratory_information_management_system
- BIKA LIMS: http://www.bikalabs.org/
- PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System):
- Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picture_archiving_and_communication_system
- DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine):
- Wikipedia page on Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_Healthcare_Interoperability_Resources
- FLOSS WEEKLY episode 288 “GNU Health”: https://twit.tv/shows/floss-weekly/episodes/288
- Jamaica Ministry of Health:
- From opensource.com “Jamaica adopts GNU Health”: https://opensource.com/health/13/11/jamaica-adopts-gnu-health
- Ministry of Health Jamaica, Health Informatics: http://moh.gov.jm/divisions-agencies/divisions/technical-services-division/health-informatics/
- Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital:
- Wikipedia page on the Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Unit_of_Computing
- Dr Tom Kane, Edinburgh Napier University: http://www.iidi.napier.ac.uk/c/people/peopleid/13383286
- Euan Livingstone (@euanlivingstone): https://twitter.com/euanlivingstone