Developer Network : Open Source Personal Digital Assistant Software for Health Data Collection

Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) have been used in a number of health applications supported by IDRC: the anti-retroviral therapy in Free State province, South Africa (102411); Uganda Health Information Network (UHIN), phases I (102136) and II (102806); and the Tanzanian Essential Health Intervention Programme (TEHIP) supported under project 102240. Each project used a different software, however, and this proved costly in terms of development or licensing fees.

This grant will allow a network of health application users to review and appraise existing commercial and free software applications. They will convene a technical workshop of users, developers and open source proponents to come up with a prototype application - electronic forms for use on a handheld computer and uploading data back to the computer - that can be used to satisfy immediate requirements and form the basis for further development. A consultant will be hired to develop the application and open web forum. The project team will attempt to interest the open source community in further developing the application, and promote it to users in the developing countries.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, March 24, 2006

End Date

Monday, March 24, 2008


24 months

IDRC Officer

Emdon, Heloise

Total funding

CA$ 204,300


South of Sahara, Uganda, South Africa

Project Leader

Francie van Zijl Drive

Project Leader

Chris Seebregts


South African Medical Research Council

Institution Country

South Africa

Institution Website