Preguntas y respuestas sobre experimentación animal

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Hace unos días, la compañera Yolanda Morales me derivó unas preguntas de una estudiante de biología de la universidad de Barcelona. Como estas preguntas serán comunes a muchos estudiantes, he decidido responder a la estudiante y al mismo tiempo, publicarlas.

¿Qué alternativas creéis que se podrían utilizar para evitar la experimentación en animales?

La experimentación animal es anacrónica y cruel. Muchos de los experimentos que se hacen con resultados “positivos” en animales resultan en fracaso en en humanos. La especie humana tiene una fisiología y genética distinta. Más aún, el exposoma no guarda relación con el de otras especies.

Hay alternativas éticas, modernas y eficaces, focalizadas en la fisiología humana. En el 2020 firmé junto con otros científicos la carta abierta “A call to accelerate human-focused medical research” (https://www.animalfreeresearchuk.org/openletter/) donde exponemos lo cruel, innecesario e ineficaz de la experimentación animal, así como distintas alternativas.

Organ-on-a-chip, modelos computacionales e inteligencia artificial son algunas alternativas que nos permiten realizar investigación biomédica, relevante a la fisiopatología humana, sin emplear un sólo animal.

Nuestros colegas de Animal Free Research UK están investigando la fisiopatología de distintos cáncer de cerebro, mecanismos de metástasis y la barrera hematoencefálica, con tejido que extraen del tumor del paciente, directamente desde la mesa de operaciones. Tejido humano, tumores humanos. Eso es investigación biomédica real.

Nosotros hemos comenzado este año un proyecto de investigación basado en modelos computacionales (proyecto “Stiletto” (https://www.globalexposome.org/projects/stiletto)) sobre las arterias perforantes cerebrales y su implicación tanto en la homeostasis de la circulación cerebral como en la enfermedad de pequeño vaso, microangiopatías responsables del 25% de los accidentes cerebrovasculares y del 40% de las demencias. Con los modelos computacionales podemos añadir o quitar variables, analizar componentes hemodinámicos, anatómicos, ambientales, etc, siempre focalizados en el humano. De nuevo, sin emplear un sólo animal.

Este tipo de proyectos salvaría millones de vidas de animales que cada año son utilizados y maltratados para la investigación de la demencia, sin que hayan dado resultado.

Stiletto es parte del proyecto Global Exposome (https://www.globalexposome.org) de GNU Solidario.

¿Qué pensáis sobre la legislación vigente? ¿Debería de ser más dura?

La legislación vigente, especialmente las “3Rs” no es viable. El Reemplazar, Reducir, Refinar no funciona porque, entre otras cosas, es muy laxo y deja lugar a que las farmacéuticas y laboratorios encuentren vacíos argumentando, por ejemplo, que para un experimento concreto es imposible reemplazarlo por modelos no animales.

Comité de ética en experimentación animal es un oxímoron. Los animales son secuestrados de su hábitat natural, enjaulados, sometidos a condiciones de stress y de sufrimiento físico-emocional durante todo el proceso. No hay nada ético en el negocio de la experimentación animal, por mucho que quieran convencernos.

Te pasamos una carta dirigida a la universidad de Barcelona, Govern de Cataluña y Gobierno de España que firmamos en febrero de este año para liberar a los beagles.
(https://www.gnusolidario.org/animalrights/petition-free-beagles-esp.html)

La única salida es la abolición de la experimentación animal en todas su formas.

En casos extremos, como el estudió del cáncer o la fibrosis quística, ¿el uso de animales estaría justificado?

Este supuesto nos lleva al especismo, es decir, situar al humano en un nivel moral superior a otras especies.

Hoy nos horroriza pensar que los nazis utilizaron niños gitanos y judíos para experimentación biomédica (genética, toxicología, regeneración de tejidos…). Experimentaciones en nombre de la ciencia que salvarían vidas, realizadas por científicos y médicos como Josef Mengele. Ellos trataban a los judíos y gitanos como seres inferiores, justificando así estas aberraciones.

Algo similar ocurre con la experimentación con animales no-humanos. La cuestión no está en poner un umbral de cuándo es “moralmente aceptable” el sacrificar un animal no humano para el beneficio del humano. El cáncer o la fibrosis quística no son motivos para generar daño a otro ser vivo que, como nosotros, tiene capacidad de sufrir y tiene el mismo derecho a una vida digna y en libertad como nosotros. Como comenté anteriormente, existen métodos de investigación alternativos, eficaces y éticos a la experimentación animal.

Hablando de cáncer, como enfermedad multifactorial, evitaríamos muchísimos casos si mejoráramos el estilo de vida y el exposoma de nuestra población. Invertir en Medicina Social y prevención siempre será mucho más eficaz, económico y sostenible que el mejor de los fármacos, que será un privilegio para unos pocos y tendrá efectos secundarios.

Happy birthday, GNU Health!

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On a day like this, October 12th, 2008, I registered the “Medical” project at SourceForge. Fourteen years later, GNU Health has become the Libre digital health ecosystem used by governments, hospitals, laboratories, research institutions and health professionals around the globe.

I want to sincerely thank all the professionals who believed in the project since early on… from small clinics in the African rain forest, to many public primary care institutions in Argentina, to the largest hospital in India and Asia (AIIMS).

GNU Health, the Libre digital health ecosystem

Institutions such as the University of Entre Rios in Argentina, Leibniz University Hanover, the United Nations Institute for Global Health, the World Health organization and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI), Digital Public Goods Alliance, have helped the GNU Health project, by providing training, implementations or valuable resources in areas related to coding standards and medical genetics.

Many thanks to our sponsors, particularly Thymbra and openSUSE who have been supporting GNU Health since day one, sponsoring our annual congress (GNUHealthCon). In addition, openSUSE has donated raspberry pi devices for development and for implementation projects, as well as packaging GNU Health for their distribution. Thank you Fosshost, for all this years of hosting the GNU Health HMIS and the BigBlueButton for our conferences!

Thank you European Open Source Observatory Repository (OSOR) / Joinup and the Free Software Foundation Europe for your work in making GNU Health a reality in Europe, specially in the Public Health sector.

Immense gratitude to the GNU operating system, particularly, to Richard Stallman -father of the Free Software movement- who in 2011 declared GNU Health an official GNU project. Since that day, all the components of the GH ecosystem are hosted in Savannah.

GNU Package
GNU Health is an official GNU Package

The GNU Health ecosystem would not exist today without the Libre Software community. Excellent Libre projects like Tryton, LibreOffice, PostgreSQL, Flask, Python, GNUPG, Apache, and many others make GNU Health a reality. We’re so happy to count with our sister community Orthanc, a great Libre Medical Imaging project that makes the perfect GNU Health partner in hospital settings and diagnostic imaging.

Last but not least: Thank you to the core team and to the community around the world: Developers, testers, translators, artists, documentation team, podcasters and journalists … I can not name you all… but the success of GNU Health belongs to you.

On a day like this, 14 years ago, the revolution for freedom and equity in healthcare began. And this is just starting…. at GNU Solidario, we’ll keep on advancing Social Medicine, and fighting so health remains a non-negotiable human right, no matter where you live. After all, GNU Health is a Social project with a little bit of technology behind.

Happy and Healthy hacking!

Luis Falcón

(Original document: https://my.gnusolidario.org/2022/10/12/happy-birthday-gnu-health/)

Cirugía Solidaria chooses GNU Health

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The GNU Health community keeps growing, and that makes us very proud! This time, the Spanish non-profit organization Cirugía Solidaria has chosen GNU Health as their Hospital and Lab Management system.

Cirugía Solidaria was born in 2000 by a team of surgeons, anesthetists and nurses from “Virgen de la Arrixaca Hospital”, in Murcia, Spain, with the goal to provide medical assistance and to perform surgeries to underprivileged population and those in risk of social exclusion. Currently, Cirugía Solidaria counts with a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals around Spain that just made its 20th anniversary of cooperation.

GNUHealth Hospital Management client for Cirugía Solidaria

Around a month ago I received a message from Dr. Cerezuela, expressing their willingness to be part of the GNU Health community. Their main missions currently are focused, but not limited, to the African continent.

Source: Cirugía Solidaria

After several conferences and meetings, this August 1st 2022, Cirugía Solidaria and GNU Solidario signed an agreement to cooperate in the implementation, training and maintenance of the GNU Health Hospital Management and Lab Information System in those countries and health institutions where Cirugía Solidaria will be present.

Source: Cirugía Solidaria

This is very exciting. We have many projects in different countries from Africa, and working with Cirugía Solidaria will help to generate more local capacity, to cover the needs of those health professionals and their population.

This is not just about surgeries or health informatics. GNU Health will allow Cirugía Solidaria to create sustainable projects. They will have unified clinical and surgical histories, telemedicine; assess the nutritional and educational status of the population, and many other socioeconomic determinants of health and disease.

I want to give our warmest welcome to the team of Cirurgía Solidaria, and we are very much looking forward to cooperating with this great organization, for the betterment our our societies, and for those that need it most.

About GNU Health

The GNU Health project provides the tools for individuals, health professionals, institutions and governments to proactively assess and improve the underlying determinants of health, from the socioeconomic agents to the molecular basis of disease. From primary health care to precision medicine.

GNU Health is a Libre, community driven project from GNU Solidario, a non-profit humanitarian organization focused on Social Medicine. Our project has been adopted by public and private health institutions and laboratories, multilateral organizations and national public health systems around the world.

The GNU Health project provides the tools for individuals, health professionals, institutions and governments to proactively assess and improve the underlying determinants of health, from the socioeconomic agents to the molecular basis of disease. From primary health care to precision medicine.

The following are the main components that make up the GNU Health ecosystem:

  • Social Medicine and Public HealthHospital Management (HMIS)
  • Laboratory Management (Occhiolino)
  • Personal Health Record (MyGNUHealth)
  • Bioinformatics and Medical Genetics
  • Thalamus and Federated health networks
  • GNU Health embedded on Single Board devices

GNU Health is a GNU (www.gnu.org) official package, awarded with the Free Software Foundation award of Social benefit, among others. GNU Health has been adopted by many hospitals, governments and multilateral organizations around the globe.

See also:

GNU Health : https://www.gnuhealth.org

GNU Solidario : https://www.gnusolidario.org

Digital Public Good Alliance: https://digitalpublicgoods.net/

Original post : https://my.gnusolidario.org/2022/08/09/cirugia-solidaria-chooses-gnu-health/

GNU Health declared Digital Public Good

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We are very proud to announce that the GNU Health project has been declared a Digital Public Good by the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA). GNU Solidario received the announcement this Sunday, April 3rd 2022.

The Digital Public Goods Alliance is a multi-stakeholder initiative endorsed by the United Nations Secretary-General, working to accelerate the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in low-and middle-income countries by facilitating the discovery, development, use of, and investment in digital public goods.

Current Digital Public Good Alliance board members (2022) . German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Government of Sierra Leone, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), iSPIRT, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) , and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Digital Public Good Alliance board members (2022)

Current board members of the DPGA include the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Government of Sierra Leone, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), iSPIRT, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) , and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The goal of the DPGA and its registry is to promote digital public goods in order to create a more equitable world. Being recognized as a DPG increases the visibility, support for, and prominence of open projects that have the potential to tackle global challenges.

GNU Health is now at the Digital Public Goods registry

After its nomination to become a Digital Public Good project, GNU Health had to pass the requirements of the DPGA standards. As the DPGA states :

The Digital Public Goods Standard is a set of specifications and guidelines designed to maximise consensus about whether a digital solution conforms to the definition of a digital public good: open-source software, open data, open AI models, open standards, and open content that adhere to privacy and other applicable best practices, do no harm by design and are of high relevance for attainment of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This definition stems from the UN Secretary-General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation.

Digital Public Good Standards

At GNU Solidario and GNU Health we are humbled and very happy with this recognition, and accept it with profound commitment, responsibility and determination. It makes us work even harder to keep on fighting for the advancement of Social Medicine, and to give voice to the voiceless around the world.

About GNU Health

GNU Health is a Libre, community driven project from GNU Solidario, a non-profit humanitarian organization focused on Social Medicine. Our project has been adopted by public and private health institutions and laboratories, multilateral organizations and national public health systems around the world.

The GNU Health project provides the tools for individuals, health professionals, institutions and governments to proactively assess and improve the underlying determinants of health, from the socioeconomic agents to the molecular basis of disease. From primary health care to precision medicine.

The following are the main components that make up the GNU Health ecosystem:

  • Social Medicine and Public Health
  • Hospital Management (HMIS)
  • Laboratory Management (Occhiolino)
  • Personal Health Record (MyGNUHealth)
  • Bioinformatics and Medical Genetics
  • Thalamus and Federated health networks
  • GNU Health embedded on Single Board devices

GNU Health is a Free/Libre, community-driven project from GNU Solidario, that counts with a large and friendly international community. GNU Solidario celebrates GNU Health Con and the International Workshop on e-Health in Emerging Economies (IWEEE) every year, that gathers the GNU Health and social medicine advocates from around the world.

GNU Health is a GNU (www.gnu.org) official package, awarded with the Free Software Foundantion award of Social benefit, among others. GNU Health has been adopted by many hospitals, governments and multilateral organizations around the globe.

See also:

GNU Solidario : https://www.gnusolidario.org

Digital Public Good Alliance: https://digitalpublicgoods.net/

Source : https://my.gnusolidario.org/2022/04/04/gnu-health-declared-digital-public-good/

Leibniz University Hannover joins the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions

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GNU Solidario and Leibniz Universität Hannover (LUH) are now partners in GNU Health, the Libre digital health ecosystem.

This agreement makes the German university a member of the GNU Health Alliance of academic and research institutions, to work on the research and development of GNU Health, the award-winning Libre digital health ecosystem.

The partnership was signed on February 2nd, 2022, by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gabriele von Voigt, head of the Computational Health Informatics department at Leibniz Universität Hannover and Dr. Luis Falcón, president of GNU Solidario.

University of Hanover main building. Source: LUH

We are excited and looking forward to cooperate and research in areas such as privacy, distributed health networks, bioinformatics, hospital management or Personal Health Records. Leibniz Universität Hannover has been using the GNU Health Hospital Management System component for quite sometime now internally, in their health informatics department. This agreement will boost even more the adoption of the libre health ecosystem.

Some of the components from the GNU Health digital health ecosystem

Leibniz Universität Hannover is a reference for the adoption of GNU Health in European universities, serving as a model of open science and free/libre software in public academic institutions. Moreover, being part of the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions opens up horizons to collaborate with other universities around the world.

We are positive that this agreement will help promoting the adoption of GNU Health and Libre Software within the healthcare system and biomedical research in Europe.

The logo of Leibniz University is a visual Leibniz quote. It shows the binary number system as first outlined by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in his New Year’s letter of January 1697 to Duke Rudolf August of Wolfenbüttel.

About Leibniz Universität Hannover:

The Leibniz University Hannover, long form in German Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, is a public research university located in Hanover, Germany. Founded on 2 May 1831, it is one of the largest and oldest science and technology universities in Germany. It has nine faculties which offer 190 full and part degree programs in 38 fields of study.It was named University of Hannover in 1978. In 2006, it was named after Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, the 18th century mathematician and philosopher. In 2018, Leibniz University Hannover was adopted as the official English name.

Leibniz University Hannover is a member of TU9, an association of the nine leading Institutes of Technology in Germany. It is also a member of the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER), a non-profit association of leading engineering universities in Europe. The university sponsors the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB), the largest science and technology library in the world

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Hanover

About the GNU Health Alliance

The GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions is a GNU Solidario program comprising a global network of academic and research institutions around the world with the mission of provide a sustainable solutions to the current social and biomedical challenges, using GNU Health and Free Software components.

News source: GNU Solidario https://my.gnusolidario.org/2022/02/03/leibniz-university-hannover-joins-the-gnu-health-alliance-of-academic-and-research-institutions/

Rompiendo Cadenas

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Una sociedad que esclaviza, tortura y mata a otras especies, es una sociedad enferma. Las medianías de nuestro archipiélago están colmadas de casas y fincas con perros que malviven encadenados las 24 horas del día, bajo sol y lluvia. La vida de muchos podencos se reduce al hacinamiento constante, para que después de la temporada de caza, sus dueños los maten. Los gatos de colonias son víctimas de atropellos, envenenamientos y reproducción descontrolada, sin que haya un control ético de las mismas. Muchos animales abandonados en centros municipales están condenados a muerte. Son algunos ejemplos que nos sitúan en una vergonzosa posición en relación a los derechos de los animales.

Timple, un perrito callejero de Lanzarote, fue brutalmente torturado y asesinado en agosto de 2020. La muerte de Timple, el perrito de nadie y de todos, fue la gota que colmó el vaso. Ese día, un llanto desconsolado inundó Canarias. Lloramos, gritamos, reaccionamos.

La reacción empieza el mismo 7 de agosto. La rabia se convierte en activismo. Desde GNU Solidario comenzamos la campaña “Rompiendo Cadenas“, con el fin de erradicar el maltrato animal en nuestras islas. Contactamos y solicitamos audiencia a la Presidencia del gobierno de Canarias; unimos fuerzas con asociaciones animalistas hermanas; volamos a Lanzarote y firmamos el Pacto de Teguise, documento que adoptado por individuos, instituciones, partidos políticos y municipios en España y Europa.

La movilización generó el compromiso de Presidencia del gobierno de Canarias y que distintas agrupaciones políticas de Canarias (GP Socialista Canario, Nueva Canarias, Sí Podemos Canarias, Agrupación Socialista Gomera) registrasen el 11 de febrero de este año 2021, la Proposición de Ley de Bienestar y Protección Animal , que nosotros denominamos “la Ley Timple“, que en estos momentos se encuentra en trámite. Dicha proposición de ley necesita ser ampliamente revisada y mejorada previo a su aprobación. Puedes leer el contenido y estado de la misa en este enlace https://parcan.es/iniciativas/tramites.py?id_iniciativa=10L/PPL-0005 y hacernos llegar tus comentarios y enmiendas a la cuenta “animalrights@gnusolidario.org

En la reunión mantenida el lunes 27 de septiembre de 2021 entre GNU Solidario y el Gobierno de Canarias, abordamos dicha proposición de ley de bienestar y protección animal de Canarias. Hay mucho por mejorar en la misma, y necesitamos, como comunidad, hacer llegar nuestras peticiones y enmiendas antes que se apruebe. Dicho esto, esta ley sería el primer gran paso para sacar a Canarias del vacío absoluto en el ámbito de los derechos de los animales.

Algunos puntos que GNU Solidario pide incorporar o mejorar en la actual proposición de ley son:

  • Sacrificio cero de animales en centros de acogida.
  • Prohibición de cualquier tipo de experimentación animal (científica, docencia,…).
  • Gestión ética de colonias felinas.
  • Prohibición de cría y venta de animales y fomentar la adopción responsable.
  • Fin de los parques zoológicos y acuarios.
  • Abolición todo tipo de actos y tradiciones que impliquen maltrato.
  • Prohibición del confinamiento / encadenamiento de perros en fincas o casas.
  • Servicio veterinarios público y gratuito.
  • Eliminar el concepto de “perro guardián”
  • Prohibir “animales de producción” para la industria peletera
  • Incluir el Pacto de Teguise

Rompiendo Cadenas será un éxito, porque refleja el grito genuino de la mayoría de canarias y canarios, hartos de la cosificación y explotación de los animales no humanos. La discriminación o situarse en un plano moral superior a otra persona, basado en el sexo, color de la piel, edad, orientación sexual o especie nos empequeñece como personas y como sociedad.

La declaración de Toulon recalca que los animales deben ser considerados universalmente como personas y no como cosas, confiriéndoles personalidad jurídica y derechos. Al igual que nosotros, los animales no-humanos son seres sintientes, con capacidad de tener experiencias subjetivas y de sufrir. Las ratas, cerdos, perros, gallinas, vacas, gatos o pollos no son menos personas que nosotros. No deben ser posicionados en planos morales inferiores.

Timple sufrió la peor cara del ser humano. La cara de la crueldad y el sadismo en su máxima expresión. Nos toca ahora devolverle la dignidad. La ley de bienestar y protección animal de Canarias llevará su nombre, Timple, para que nunca nos olvidemos que él supuso el punto de inflexión hacia una sociedad canaria empática y respetuosa con todas las personas, independientemente de la especie.

Reitero, una sociedad que esclaviza, tortura y mata a otras especies, es una sociedad enferma. GNU Solidario es una organización focalizada en la medicina social. El grado de respeto y compasión en nuestra interacción con la naturaleza y otras especies con las que compartimos este mundo, no sólo denotan nuestra altura moral como individuos y sociedad, sino que son factores fundamentales para el futuro del ser humano en el planeta.

GNU Health emergency response in Haiti

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Yesterday, yet another devastating earthquake hit the southern area of Haiti.

Immediately knowing about the earthquake, we contacted our representative in Haiti, Pierre Michel Augustin, and started an emergency humanitarian response in coordination with our team in the country .

Haiti suffers from recurrent natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes). In the last years, Haiti has also been a victim of structural poverty and civil unrest. Haitians are strong, resilient, noble people. Haiti is the land of the free and the brave (see my post “My trip to Haiti, the land of the Free and the Brave” ), yet it seems like the world has forgotten about Haiti.

GNU Solidario emergency response campaign in Haiti: https://www.gnusolidario.org/haiti.html

Archive picture (credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino).

We need emergency response now, but we also need to work on Social Medicine, and tackle the socioeconomic determinants that are the root cause of the structural poverty in Haiti. Only then, our Haitians brothers and sisters will be able to recover the dignity that they deserve, and grow in prosperity. We need to create the conditions, working the local community in the country to strengthen the public health and education system. GNU Health is part of this program.

Our local representative, engineer Pierre Michel Augustin, has been working in the localization of GNU Health, and by the end of 2021, we will have the GNU Health node fully operational in Limbé. The Haiti GNU Health office will provide training and support to the local and regional health professionals and institutions.

The GNU Health project focuses on helping health professionals delivering Social Medicine and health informatics.

Natural disasters have a profound impact in the short, medium and long period in any nation. The situation gets much worse when they hit impoverished nations. So, in the short term, we will put all the effort to tackle this emergency and save lives. For the medium and long term, we will continue the GNU Health node in Haiti and building the GNU Health Federation in the country, in cooperation with the local team, academic and health institutions.

Creating local capacity is key to make the project sustainable. Resources will be dedicated to build the infrastructure (hardware, network..), but the main focus and effort will be on building local capacity, and training the local team to make them independent and build a sustainable and ethical model.

Visit https://www.gnusolidario.org/haiti.html to support our mission in Haiti

In the end, technology is just a medium, and GNU Health is a social project that uses really cool Free/Libre technology and open science, for the betterment of our societies.

Please consider helping GNU Solidario humanitarian campaign in Haiti, by visiting the following link:

https://www.gnusolidario.org/haiti.html

About GNU Solidario:

GNU Solidario is a non-profit humanitarian organization focused on Social Medicine. We have missions around the globe, and our projects has been adopted by health institutions, multilateral organizations and national public health systems around the world.

GNU Solidario is the organization behind GNU Health, the award winning Free / Libre digital health ecosystem, that provides a Hospital Management System, a Lab Information System, a Personal Health Record and a distributed, Federated health network.

GNU Health is a GNU official project ( see www.gnu.org), licensed under the GNU General Public License, GPL v3+

Back to the Future

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Leonardo da Vinci said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication“, but it seems like the “modern” computing world never heard that quote, or ignore it. Today, a single application takes hundreds of megabytes, both of disk and RAM space. Slow, buggy, inefficient systems at every level.

Probably the best example on this cluttering mess comes from the mobile computing. Most phones are bloated with useless software that not only hinders the navigation experience, but pose a threat to your privacy. Yes, all this software is proprietary. Worst of it, you can not even uninstall it.

Fortunately, there is hope. Let me introduce SXMO, the Simple X on Mobile project. As the authors describe it, SXMO is a minimalist environment for Linux smartphones, such as the PinePhone. SXMO embraces simplicity, and simplicity is both elegant and efficient.

MyGNUHealth running on PinePhone and SXMO
Full screen mode of MyGNUHealth on SXMO

SXMO uses a tiling window manager called dwm (Dynamic Window Manager), which allocates the different applications in the most efficient way. The dwm project is available as a single binary file, which source is intended not to exceed 2000 lines of code. That is amazing.

Simplicity is robust, and that again applies to SXMO. All the necessary components expected on a mobile phone (making and receiving calls, browsing the Internet, SMS messaging,..) just work. Moreover, SMXO comes with a scripting system that allow us to write solutions to our needs. For instance, the screenshots you see were taken with a script of 3 lines of code. Just place the little program under your “userscripts” directory, and voilà!, you’re ready to make screenshots from your PinePhone!

Browsing the Internet and the GNU Health homepage

Menu driven navigation in SXMO dwm in the PinePhone

In the end, most of current desktop environments today are huge, bloated and buggy. The discovery of SXMO has been an eyeopener. The perfect companion for my PinePhone.

I’m using SXMO on my PinePhone as a daily driver, and I just love it. Thanks to simple distributions such as Archlinux, Parabola or PostmarketOS, and simple Desktop / window managers as DWM, a am finally enjoying Libre mobile computing.

I feel projects like this take us back to the roots, to the beautiful world of simplicity, yet delivering the latest technology and showing us the path o the future.

References:

SXMO: https://www.sxmo.org

Pine64: https://www.pine64.org/

GNU Health : https://www.gnuhealth.org

PostmarketOS: https://postmarketos.org/

Archlinux: https://www.archlinux.org

Parabola: https://www.parabola.nu/

Featured Image: Leonardo da Vinci, drawing of a flying machine . Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to MyGNUHealth, the Libre Personal Health Record

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MyGNUHealth 1.0 us out! The GNU Health Libre Personal Health Record is now ready for prime time!

This is great news. Great news because citizens around the world have now access to a Free/Libre application, focused on privacy, that puts them in control of their health.

Health is personal, so is the health data. It’s been years since I got the idea of expanding the GNU Health ecosystem, not only to the health professionals and institutions, but making it personal, accessible to individuals. Now is a reality!

Throughout these years, the mobile health (mHealth) has been governed by private companies that benefit from your health data. Private companies, private insurances, proprietary operating systems, proprietary health applications. Big business, no privacy.

MyGNUHealth running on KDE Plasma desktop and Arch Linux

GNU and Libre Software

The GNU Health ecosystem exists because of Free software. Thanks to communities such as GNU, we can have fully operational operating systems, desktop environments, databases and programming languages that allow us to use and write free software. GNU Health is one example.

The Libre Software movement fights for the advancement of our societies, by providing universality in computing. In the case of GNU Health, that freedom and equity in computing is applied into the healthcare and social medicine domains. Health is a non-negotiable human right, so it must be health informatics.

What is MyGNUHealth?

MyGNUHealth (MyGH)is a Health Personal Record application focused in privacy, that can be used in desktops and mobile devices.

MyGH embraces the main health domains (bio-psycho-social). All the components in the GNU Health ecosystem combine social medicine and primary care with the latest on bioinformatics and precision medicine. The complex interactions between these health domains play a key role in the state of health and disease of an individual, family and society.

MyGH has the functionality of a health and activity tracker, and that of a health diary / record. It records and tracks the main anthropometric and physiological measures, such as weight, blood pressure, blood sugar level or oxygen saturation. It keeps track of your lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity, and sleep, with numerous charts to visualize the trends.

MyGNUHealth is also a diary, that records all relevant information from the medical and social domain and their context. In the medical domain, you can record your encounters, immunizations, hospitalizations, lab tests,genetic and family history, among others. In the genetic context, MyGH provides a dataset of over 30000 natural variants / SNP from UniProt that are relevant in human. Entering the RefSNP will automatically provide the information about that particular variant and it clinical significance.

The Social domain, contains the key social determinants of health (Social Gradient, Early life development, Stress, Social exclusion, Working conditions, Education, Physical environment, Unemployment, Social Support, Addiction, Food, Transportation, Health services, Family functionality, Family violence, Bullying, War) , most of them from the World Health Organization social determinants of health.

A very important feature of MyGH is that it is GNU Health Federation. That is, if you want to share any of this data with your health professional in real-time, and they will be able to study it.

Lifestyle and activity tracker
Social domain and its contexts, along the book of life
Mood and energy assessment
Medical genetics showing the relevant information on a particular natural variant / SNP

The PinePhone and the revolution in mobile computing

Of course, in a world of mobile phones and mobile computing, we need free/libre mobile applications. The problem I was facing until recently, that prevented me from writing MyGNUHealth, was the fact that there was no libre mobile environment. The mobile computing market has been dominated by Google and Apple, which both deliver proprietary operating systems, Android and iOS respectively.

The irruption of the Pine64 community was the eye-opener and a game changer. A thriving community of talented people, determined to provide freedom in mobile computing. The Pine64 provides, among others, a smartphone (PinePhone), and a smartwatch (PineTime), and I have adopted both.

Starting up MyGNUHealth application in the PinePhone
KDE Plasma mobile applications on the PinePhone

I wrote an article some weeks ago (“Liberating our mobile computing”), where I mentioned why I have changed the Android phone to the PinePhone, and my watch to the PineTime.

Does the PinePhone have the best camera? Can we compare the PinePhone with Apple or Google products? It’s hard to compare a multi-billion dollar corporation with a fresh, community-oriented project. The business model, the technology components and the ethics behind are very different.

So, why making the move? I made the change because we, as a society, need to embrace a technology that is universal and that respects our freedom and privacy. A technology that focuses on the individual and not in the corporation. That moves takes determination and commitment. There is a small price to pay, but freedom and privacy are priceless.

Taking MyGNUHealth and the PinePhone to the outdoors.

As a physician, I need to provide my patients the resources that use state-of-the-art technology, and, at the same time, guarantee the privacy of their sensitive medical information. Libre software and open standards are key in healthcare. When my patients choose free/libre software, they have full control. They also have the possibility to share it with me or with other health professionals, in real-time and with the highest levels of privacy.

We can only manage sensitive health data with technology that respects our privacy. In other words, we can not put our personal information in the hands of corporate interests. Choosing Libre Software and Hardware means much more than just technology. Libre Software means embracing solidarity and cooperation. It means sharing knowledge, code and time with others. It means embracing open science for the advancement of our societies, specially for those that need it most.

MyGNUHealth will be included by default in many operating systems and distributions, so you don’t have to worry about the technical details. Just use your health companion! If your operating system does not have MyGH in their repositories, please ask them to include it.

Governments, institutions, and health professional need affordable technology that respects their citizens freedom. We need you to be part of this eHealth revolution.

Happy and healthy hacking!

About GNUHealth:

MyGNUHealth is part of the GNU Health, the Libre digital health ecosystem. GNU Health is from GNU Solidario, a humanitarian, non-for-profit organization focused on the advancement of Social Medicine. GNU Solidario develops health applications and uses exclusively Free/Libre software. GNU Health is an official GNU project.

Homepage : https://www.gnuhealth.org

Documentation portal : https://www.gnuhealth.org/docs

IFMSA Bangladesh joins the GNU Health Alliance

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The non-profit organization with 3500+ medical students and 65 universities across the country is now part of the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions
The non-profit organization with 3500+ medical students and 65 universities across the country is now part of the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions

It’s a great day for Bangladesh. It’s a great day for public health! Today, GNU Solidario and the International Federation of Medical Students Association, IFMSA Bangladesh, have signed an initial 5-year partnership on the grounds of the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions.

IFMSA Bangladesh is a non-for-profit, non-political organization that comprises 3500+ medical students from over 65 schools of Medicine across Bangladesh. They are a solid organization, very well organized, with different standing committees and support divisions.

IFMSA vision and mission fits very well with those of GNU Solidario advancement of Social Medicine. IFMSA has projects on Public Health (reproductive health; personal hygiene; cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention, … ), Human rights and peace (campaigns to end violence against women; protection of the underprivileged elders and children.. ). I am positive the GNU Health ecosystem will help them reach their goals in each of their projects!

The GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions is extremely happy to have IFMSA Bangladesh as a member. IFMSA Bangladesh joins now a group of outstanding researchers and institutions that have made phenomenal advancements in health informatics and contributions to public health. Some examples:

  • The National University of Entre Ríos (UNER) has been awarded the project to use GNU Health as a real-time observatory for the COVID-19 pandemic, by the Government of Argentina. In the context of the GNU Health Alliance, UNER has also developed the oral health package for GNU Health; and implemented the GNU Health Hospital Management Information System component in many public health care institutions in the country. The team from the UNER has traveled to Cameroon to implement GNU Health HMIS in several health facilities in the country, as well as training their health professionals.
  • Thymbra Healthcare (R&D Labs) has contributed the medical genetics and precision medicine. Currently, Thymbra is focused on MyGNUHealth, the GNU Health Personal Health Record (PHR) for KDE plasma mobile and desktops devices, and working on the integration of MyGNUHealth with the PinePhone.
  • Khadas has signed an agreement to work on with the GNU Health community in Artificial Intelligence and medical imaging, as well on integrating Single Board Computers (SBCs) with GNU Health (the GNU Health in a Box project)

The fact that an association of 3500+ medical students embrace GNU Health means that all these bright future doctors from Bangladesh will also bear the ethics and philosophy of Libre Software to their communities. Public Health can not be run by private corporations, nor by proprietary software.

IFMSA has 5 years ahead to make a wonderful revolution in the public health care system. Health institutions will be able to implement state-of-the-art health informatics. Medical students can learn GNU Health inside-out, and conduct workshops across the country in the Libre digital health ecosystem. Most importantly, I am positive GNU Health will provide a wonderful opportunity to improve the health promotion and disease prevention campaigns in Bangladesh.

As the president of GNU Solidario, I am truly honored and looking forward to start collaborating with our colleagues from Bangladesh, and, when the pandemic is over, be able to meet them in person.

My most sincere appreciation to IFMSA Bangladesh for becoming part of the GNU Health community. To the 3500+ members, a very warm welcome!

Let’s keep building communities that foster universal health care, freedom and social medicine around the world.

For further information about the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions, please contact us at:

GNU Health Alliance: alliance@gnuhealth.org

Press: press@gnuhealth.org

General Information : info@gnuhealth.org