Open Source Mobile Phone Solution for Surveys

Hi Pam,

Here is something that might be of interest to Dadamac and FF. I am pasting a press release that I got from my friend, who is a doctor in the US. Here goes:

Researchers from Makerere University and their collaborators from Norway, India, Ethiopia, South Africa, the United States and Pakistan unveiled openXdata at Kampala on November 12.

OpenXdata is a community-developed, open-source, enterprise end-to-end software solution that revolutionizes surveys and studies by changing the way in which data collection, data management, and data analysis is carried out. Computer scientists and experts in public health, education and development from these countries gathered for the launch event in Kampala, which will be followed by similar events in Karachi, Bangalore, Bergen and Cape Town in 2010.

OpenXdata eliminates bulky paper forms and subsequent data entry as well as costly errors related to manual data entry and lack of data validation at the time of data collection.

OpenXdata is the first free and completely open source end-to-end solution of its kind that can run on both high- and low-end mobile devices and mobile phones. Investigators based at the University of Bergen Centre for International Health have coordinated the effort under the OMEVAC grant funded by the Research Council of Norway. Key partners include Makerere University (Kampala), Handheld Solutions and Research Labs (Bangalore), University of Southern Maine (Portland), Cell-Life (Cape Town), Interactive Research & Development (Karachi), and Addis Ababa University.

Video links:

Open Letters: 


Vijay This information is very relevant to Fantsuam Foundation (FF) and the videos are excellent. I am very impressed by way that they show practical applications, and give such detail of what is seen on the screens and how things really work. It makes it easy to imagine related applications. I will suggest to Kelechi that he looks at the first video. He might find it relevant regarding the Information Management System he is working on for the education and training projects at FF.I will suggest to John that he looks at the second and third as they relate to health and may be relevant for FF's projects in that area.

Vijay I am wondering how OpenXdata compares with Frontline SMS Any thoughts? Pam

Hi Pam and others, I am posting another product information about a new health web application developed by Micro Technologies (India) Limited.

Called Micro E-Health, it is an electronic hardware unit embedded with appropriate software. The physician can connect various digital biomedical devices to this web-based unit and can be installed in PHC / ambulance to monitor multiple disease-relevant parameters like body temperature, blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, etc of his patients. It can also store this data along with patient’s other relevant details like ID, date, medical history, allergies, etc into a central server.

The patient and concerned medical professional can access the data at any time whenever need arises and from anywhere. It is a simple device linked to a server through which the key health parameters can be captured for each patient and stored on the web based server. The information can be easily browsed through website .

The Company would be eager to pilot one such product through the PHC. More details can be found at the website:

Hope the Dadamac and FF teams find this information useful.


Hi Vijay

This another interesting link and I am glad to know about it.

I was also very interested to see the that "The Company would be eager to pilot one such product through the PHC. More details can be found at the website:" It is my hope that we will be able to make win-win introductions on behalf of Fnatusam Foundation (FF) regarding pilot projects. I think we are thinking along the same lines.

I did click the link, wondering if it was India focussed or possibly relevant to FF. My impression is that they will be looking for partners who link in with a rather more sophisticated health service provision than is available in rural Nigeria.

Certainly health provision is a big and important issue regarding development. Maybe it is a topic that we should explore together as part of our exploration of effective non-formal online study of development.

I have been discussing this with Nikki. We do get various bits of information related to health during our weekly meetings, and we are experiemtning with the best places to "park it" here on Perhaps we should also look at how you can best connect with the health information that you would find relevant to your own interests.

I am suggesting to Nikki that, for a start, she includes a "health" tag on her blog when appropriate, then you will be able to search on that.

What do you think?




There is no harm in connecting with them to find out if they would be interested in trying a pilot in rural Nigeria. For the company, that would be a bigger challenge to test out a system in a PHC which is not located in the same country.

I would be happy to be a part of the health information 'pick and park' initiative. How does one go about it?


I agree there is no harm in trying. My personal feeling is that it is not something that I have time/motivation to follow up - but if you would like to check it out further please do so.

If you do decide to check it out further please make sure that you do not make any commitments on behalf of other people. i.e. You can say you are making enquiries because of your personal interest, or you can even say you are connected to an organsisation in Nigeria and wonder if it has relevance for them, but don't say more.

It is important that you do not say anything that goes further than you can go on your own. You should not suggest the organisation in Nigeria has already said it is interested, nor that it will take any specific action as a result of your enquiries. 

If your enquiries do suggest that it could be relevant in Nigeria, then we will check a few more details based on what we know about the situation there. If there is something of genuine possible relevance that would be win-win for our friends in Nigeria then we start to involve them.

This reluctance to mention things to our contacts in Nigeria is bacause there are so many things that seem relevant, but turn out to be false trails. It is part of our task (and our learning journey) to do the "footwork" of finding what seems interesting. From what is interesting we find out what is relevant and usefully actionable.

With regard to pushing, pulling and parking heath information, that is something we will need to explore together. It is part of our investigation into education and ICT - the "process" of studiying online as well as the "product" - the knowledge  that you are gaining.

I think it is good that you raise iniitial interests through your blogs. Remember that you can tag your blogs. You may like to go back and see if you want to edit any tags on earlier blogs or just "get better as you go along".

I know I am still not making the best use of tags, but we learn by doing. I may go back and edit some early ones but I have a feeling my early mistakes will stay uncorrected, and I'll hope they just gradually get lost in the mists of time.

I suggest you add the tag "health" in your health related blogs from now on. Please also add the tag Dadamac-learners often as well - where ever your blog is part of your learning journey here at 

You are my first new Dadamac learner since we started this space on the Internet. So it would be good if we make it easy to retrace our learning journey here. Dadamac-learner tags will help us to do that.

After a while you may find that you want a different way of arranging things. You will have parked all your infromation on your blogs, and my comments will be there too. You (and others) will be able to pull teh information out via tags and other searches, but you will probably want other structures as well. 

We will rub minds on the best structures to use as we go along. It may be that you will have all you need for now with the existing features Ryan has given us which we are not exploiting fully. It may be that we need to add additional features (Drupal has many additional features that we have not yet added). It may be that we would like make more use of external spaces, such as the wiki Andrius has, or google docs, or all sorts of things.

The whole issue of parking, pushing and pulling information ties in with how/why the information is being collected/created and who will be wanting/needing it etc. (such as the point at which you would urgently want our friends in Nigeria to read about this - and could justify "pushing" it to them) - but that discussion of where and how we place information belongs more in the Education and ICT thread so I will not take it further here.