Laboratory informations management system

The field of health informatics is rather large and EpiConcept has created many different information systems. We have selected a few of them that represent certain categories of information systems.

A LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) as its name indicates, is a system that allows a laboratory to track biological samples through all phases of analysis.

The LabBook project

Begun in 2011 through the aid of the Mérieux fondation, this project’s goal was is to create a laboratory information system for french speaking biological laboratories in western Africa. The first version of the application concerned the three countries of Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Mali. An initial field mission was made by a project director and a technical project manager to Mali in order to redefine the needs at the ground level and summarising the working conditions (electricity, number of persons per laboritory, etc…). Once the initial version was developped by EpiConcept, the second field visit to Burkina Faso was made by the entire team (three persons) to present and teach the application to the all of the different country’s laboratory and information system managers.

Technology

Based on Voozanoo4 (Zendtm architecture), the system also needed to use a customised operating system in order to make it deployable as a turnkey system. This also allowed for controlling what could be installed on these computers dedicated specifically to LabBook. Although the application is a client/server type, often due to the reality of the ground situation (no local network) the machine was both a server and client.

Organisation

EpiConcept and the Mérieux fondation worked together to determine the different phases of the project. Various propositions for complimentary modules were submitted to the work group which was comprised of laboratory and information system managers from each country in order to prioritize their creation.

Advantages

The use of the system allowed the laboratories who normally worked with paper listings to have a system of followup and tracing of the samples that are more reliable and refined.

Challenges

One of the greatest challenges of this project was the deployment environment. For the three initial countries, the real conditions and the expectations were not the same. If it wasn’t the heat that was giving problems to some of the computers, it was the fact that the electricity would be out for hours at a time. We had to find a way to please everyone while at the same time remaining generic in order to be able to deploy the solution in other countries in the future.

Voozanoo standard / Custom development: 90/10

Ce projet a utiliser le nouveau framework Zend de Voozanoo 4. Car il n’avait pas de systéme d’interface a ce moment, le plus part de l’application a été construit par développement traditionnel.