HospitalRun: 10 Reasons to Contribute


Recently at Offline Camp Oregon I had the opportunity to give a passion talk about contributing to HospitalRun, an open source Offline First hospital information system for the developing world.

John Kleinschmidt presents “Hospital Run: 10 Reasons to Contribute” at Offline Camp Oregon, November 2017

In my talk I presented 10 reasons why you should consider contributing to HospitalRun:

1. You can literally help save lives

Hydrocephalus before and after treatment

HospitalRun was developed specifically for health care facilities in the resource-constrained locations that encounter life-threatening conditions like hydrocephalus pictured above. When you contribute to HospitalRun, you are helping to provide software that plays an integral part in saving lives.

2. Offline First where it is most needed

Contributing to HospitalRun gives you the unique opportunity to work on an Offline First project that is being deployed in locations where connectivity is the most challenging. Working on this project will expose you to real-life offline scenarios that you may not encounter in a first world context.

3. Usability is critical

One of the core tenants of HospitalRun is that it should be easy to use. This is particularly important in a developing world context where folks may have limited exposure to computer use. Additionally, paying attention to usability helps to make sure that medical errors are not caused by software that is hard to use. We need UX professionals to contribute to make sure that HospitalRun meets these goals.

4. Level up on Ember.js

One of the great things about contributing to an open source project like HospitalRun is that it gives you the opportunity to either learn something new or sharpen your existing skills. HospitalRun’s frontend is built with Ember.js and is an example of a large Offline First Ember.js application. If Ember.js is new to you, adding it to your skillset may even help improve your salary.

5. Level up on CouchDB and PouchDB

HospitalRun uses CouchDB and PouchDB for data storage. Contribute to HospitalRun and find out how to synchronize offline data to CouchDB.

6. Level up on Electron

HospitalRun provides a desktop application that is built using Electron. This application lets users try HospitalRun without having to set up a server and is an important onboarding tool.

7. You too can become a maintainer

HospitalRun is looking to increase the number of maintainers on the project. In order to be considered as a maintainer, we are looking for folks who are contributing in a meaningful way to the the project.

8. You can be a part of a JS Foundation project

HospitalRun recently joined the JS Foundation and is now part of a foundation that includes projects like jQuery, ESLint, and webpack.

9. Contributing could be profitable

Digital health funding has been increasing in the last couple of years and there are plenty of opportunities in the digital health market. Contributing to a digital health system like HospitalRun will give you invaluable experience in this space.

10. HospitalRun needs you

Finally, the best reason to contribute to HosptialRun is that the project needs folks like you who are passionate about Offline First. If Offline First is something that you care about and/or want to learn more about, please consider joining us!

Editor’s Note: Participants at Offline Camp Oregon had diverse backgrounds and interests, ranging far beyond the Offline First approach that we came together to discuss. Through short passion talks, campers shared with us some of the hobbies, projects, and technologies that excite them. We’re sharing a taste of that passion with you here as a preview to our upcoming events.