Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moca releases source code

One of the projects I've been working on for the past two years, Moca released its source code.


Telemedicine in the Making: Moca Source Code Released

Moca, an MIT-based student organization, is pleased to announce the official release of the Moca source code, a set of foundational building blocks for telemedicine applications. This solution allows healthcare workers to digitally capture patient information using Google Android-based smartphones and transmit files via the cellular network to solicit feedback from urban-area specialists. Fully integrated into the OpenMRS electronic medical record system platform, the release of the Moca source code represents an important contribution to the nascent health care open source movement.

The components of the Moca end-to-end solution are now available for download by the public on the Moca website (www.mocamobile.org) and include:

Google Android Client Application: The interface with which a health care worker can document patient information and upload the medical data to OpenMRS. This application permits users to document information through text, images, and GPS location. Any user is welcome to demo the application on their own Android smartphone and upload their patient case to Moca's OpenMRS server for viewing.

Moca Dispatch Server: The intermediary layer between Moca's Android client and the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. The Moca Dispatch Server also provides flexibility to extend Moca to other cell phone platform devices and medical record system back-ends.

OpenMRS Moca Module: An OpenMRS plug-in that allows urban-area specialists to receive patient cases uploaded from the smartphone to the Moca Dispatch Server. The Moca Module creates a queue of patient cases in need of review and allows for SMS or e-mail messaging for specialists to send further instructions to healthcare workers.

OpenMRS Flash Media Viewer Module: Moca's open source contribution to the OpenMRS platform. The Media Viewer allows healthcare providers to view and manipulate patient images with contrast, zoom, brightness, and sharpness, in addition to playing audio and video media files. The Media Viewer is modular in design and can be used outside of Moca's remote medical diagnostics applications.

Documentation: Step-by-step instructions on how to demo the system and setup a development environment.

Sample Questionnaires: The application includes disease-targeted patient assessment questionnaires developed by ClickDiagnostics in collaboration with a network of doctors through extensive pilots in Africa and Asia. These assessment questionnaires showcase the potential impact of Moca for field health professionals.

The Moca team approaches this project mindful that a strong telemedicine solution needs to be made publically available and customizable. The Moca client application was written for the Google Android operating system, an open source operating system for smartphones, and is hardware agnostic to allow for flexible adoption and compatibility with current technological infrastructures.

The Moca team encourages health organizations to work with this platform and to customize the solution for their own development projects. As IT integrations into healthcare present immense challenges such as workflow re-design and worker acceptance, Moca provides assistance for deployment implementation and assessment. Developers are encouraged to contact Moca at questions@mocamobile.org to discuss potential collaborations. Technical questions about the software can be directed to the online forum: moca-users@googlegroups.com.

The team is currently in discussion to deploy the Moca solution in the Philippines, U.S., India, and Mexico. Future plans for the solution include the creation of an improved customization platform and the expansion of data input functionality to include video and audio. Moca also hopes to expand compatibility with plug-in medical devices for ultrasound and electrocardiographic review.

The release of the source code represents a major milestone in Moca's development. Moca began as a NextLab student project at MIT, and has since grown to a group within MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics. Group members include student volunteers from MIT, HarvardSchool of Public Health and Harvard Business School. Further, the maturity of the current source code was made possible through the advisory of field experts from a wide array of partners, both commercial corporations and NGOs.

To contact the Moca team, please write to questions@mocamobile.org.

Moca would like to acknowledge Asia Pacific College, ClickDiagnostics, Dimagi, Google SOC, IEEE, MIT Corporate Relations, MIT Industrial Liaison Program, MIT Public Service Center, National Telehealth Center of the University of the Philippines, Nokia, OpenMRS, Partners in Health, Regenstreif Institute & Telmex for their support.

Moca Mission Statement:

To revolutionize healthcare delivery in remote areas through innovative mobile information services that improve patient access to medical specialists for faster, higher quality, and more cost-effective diagnosis and intervention.

Based on the work and contributions of students, volunteers, partner organizations, and sponsors, to build and be recognized as a leading open source data collection and collaboration platforms for clinical research and best practice health care delivery for the underserved.