Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Philippine medical open-source project - finalist in Stockholm Challenge

The Community Health Information Tracking System (CHITS), the open source patient tracking system designed by the Medical Informatics Unit of the University of the Philippines for community health centers, is one of the finalists in the Stockholm Challenge Award 2006.

The Stockholm Challenge Award is an annual competition for the best initiatives that accelerate the use of information technology for the social and economic benefit of citizens and communities. Its objective is to help local entrepreneurs who work to close the digital divide by bringing in research communities, development organisations and strong corporate initiatives.

CHITS is one of the five Filipino finalists in this year's competition. The other finalists are: the Art Experience, Project Ryan (Hot City Wireless), Rice Knowledge Bank, and Young MDG.
CHITS was first rolled out in a pilot program in Pasay City. It gives doctors, nurses, midwives and barangay health workers access to data for critical decision-making.

The system stores treatment history, immunization records, consultation appointments, and Philhealth membership of patients for easy organization and retrieval. It also gives an integrated view for their program frontliners, particularly those involved in tuberculosis, vaccination, maternal care, and child care.
CHITS also forms part of the stream of information that begins with data collection by midwives and health workers, traverses the provincial and regional health offices, and ends with the Department of Health. It helps with policy development and decision-making processes as to what programs to roll out and what resources to allocate.

CHITS was funded largely by PANASIA-ICT, a collaboration between UNDP and IDRC of Canada. The systems developed within the project context is in the public domain as free and open source software (GNU GPL). Dr. Alvin Marcelo, one of the proponents of CHITS, was selected as Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines for his contributions to the project. The CHITS web site can be visited at

The winners of the Stockholm Challenge Awards will be announced on May 11, 2006. Its web site can be visited at

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