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OpenELIS logo.jpg
Developer(s) University of Washington
Initial release Expression error: Unrecognized word "dd"., YYYY (YYYY-MM-DD)[1]
Stable release

9.1  (May 17, 2019; 18 months ago (2019-05-17))

Preview release none [±]
Written in Java
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Laboratory informatics software
License(s) Mozilla Public License 1.1

OpenELIS is a free and open-source laboratory information system (LIS) currently being developed by a team at the University of Washington.

Product history

The OpenELIS project evolved out of a partnership between the Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) in late 2002, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.[2][3] The members of the collaboration were tasked with a "ground-up" effort to develop business processes and system requirements for laboratory informatics systems in the realm of public health.[3][4] This work — together with six U.S. states — eventually led to the 2003 publication of a specifications document called Requirements for Public Health Laboratory Information Management Systems, which detailed "all functions that a public health laboratory information system must be capable of supporting."[3][5]

After the publication of this document representatives from three of the involved six states — Minnesota, Iowa, and Kansas — expressed interest in putting the ideas in the Requirements document into action in the form of an open-source LIMS system. From this desire another collaborative effort occurred to make such software a reality in the form of the Open Electronic Laboratory Information System or OpenELIS. Kansas eventually had to drop out of the project, but Minnesota and Iowa continued on with development in 2004, all while the APHL and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) increased interest in the project through their humanitarian work in parts of Africa and Vietnam.[4] However, as development on the software had been mostly U.S.-centric, an adaptation had to be developed, including language translations and regional addressing. Inevitably, this turned into its own independent branch of the software, including development by local Vietnamese, making the software truly international. Meanwhile domestic development continued in Minnesota and Iowa, with Minnesota's code base sharing similarities with Vietnam's, while Iowa was branching out with its own slightly-modified version.[4]

By early-2008 the Minnesota State Public Health Laboratory was testing its implementation of OpenLIMS, while Vietnam began testing theirs in February at the District Four Health Center in Ho Chi Minh City and the National Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases in Hanoi.[2][6] The Vietnam branch in particular was seen by the APHL as "a rare opportunity to learn from the mistakes we've made with laboratory information systems domestically and to implement them right the first time in these other countries."[6]

In April 2008, the OpenELIS team reached out to the members and collaborators (including the University of Washington) of the OpenMRS open-source project[7], a project dedicated to supporting the delivery of health care in developing countries.[8] Weeks of discussions led to an agreement to create an OpenELIS developer community as well as a potential connecting of OpenELIS with OpenMRS.[7]

A SourceForge beta project started on December 2, 2008, though little activity occurred there.[9].


Hardware/software requirements

Videos, screenshots, and other media

Entities using LAMA

Further reading

External links


  1. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "OpenELIS comes home". Lab Link (State Hygienic Laboratory at The University of Iowa) 4 (1). January 2012. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wood, James (February 2009). "Public Health Informatics Institute - Grant Results Reports". Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Jones, Jay (2008). "OpenELIS: How a small lab community created a world-wide database" (PDF). PHINews (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 2 (4): 6–9. 
  5. "Requirements for Public Health Laboratory Information Management Systems". Association of Public Health Laboratories. September 2003. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rogers, Karen (Spring 2008). "Realizing the APHL Vision Around the Globe". Association of Public Health Laboratories. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Blaya, Joaquin (27 April 2008). "Collaboration with OpenELIS, an open source lab information system". Partners In Health Informatics Team. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  8. Mamlin, Burke W.; Paul G. Biondich; Ben A. Wolfe; Hamish Fraser; Darius Jazayeri; Christian Allen; Justin Miranda; William M. Tierney (2006). "Cooking up an open source EMR for developing countries: OpenMRS - a recipe for successful collaboration". AMIA Annual Symposium Proceedings: 529–33. PMC 1839638. PMID 17238397. 
  9. "OpenELIS - Laboratory Information System". SourceForge. Retrieved 26 April 2012.