The OpenECGproject: an admirable Web 2.0 initiative

18 12 2008

Web 2.0 is often considered to be a hype for techies, a buzz word. It certainly is not accepted as a reliable and useful tool in the official medical community, at least not the academic world where I work.

But Web 2.0 is more than just web 2.0 tools for geeks, it refers to changes in the ways software developers and end-users use the internet. “Web 2.0 is a trend in the use of World Wide Web technology that aims to facilitate creativity, information sharing, and, most notably, collaboration among users. i.e. by developing web-based communities such as social-networking sites, wikis and blogs.

A very nice example of a new medical use of web 2.0 is the openEGCproject, recently founded by the Kroatian Emergency Physician and IT-geek Ivor Kovic, I recently “met” on twitter.
It is mainly in the form of a wiki, and I fully agree with Giskin of Medical Humanities that this collaborative open-source wikis is very well designed and easy to navigate and not as cluncky as many other wiki’s which are out on the net.

The mission and goals of the openEGCproject are:

To develop an open source, low cost, and clinically functional electrocardiography solution.
The ultimate goal is to produce a 12-lead PC-based ECG with interpretive software, but the first step is develop a 3-lead PC-based ECG, including both hardware and non-interpretive software. Additional goals include design versions for handheld devices and development of a
wireless ECG device.

The main aim of the project is to enable doctors who have poor access to and/or can’t afford expensive commercially available medical equipment, i.e. doctors in developing countries, rural areas, outreach centers (Australia) to develop their own safe, low cost and clinically useful ECGs. It also serves an educational purpose.

The electrocardiogram (ECG) is a vital clinical tool doctors use to assess numerous and sometimes life threatening heart conditions, like myocardial infarction. It is important to have readily access to such a vital diagnostic tool.


The solution is open, which means “free”. It success depends on the contribution of volunteers.

With Medgadget, an independent on-line journal covering the latest medical gadgets and technologies, I would like to call on anyone to visit the site,, promote it and recommend it to others, and if possible contribute to its content.

You can also stay up to date with the newest advancements, by subscribing to the openEGCproject blog or to follow the openEGCproject on Twitter.
In addition you can subscribe to their YouTube channel.

You can get Medgadgets for your blog or website here:


Het openEGCproject is een initiatief van de Kroatische intensivist Ivor Kovic. Met anderen heeft hij een open wiki gemaakt met het doel om artsen die geen toegang hebben tot commercieel beschikbare ECG-programma’s toch in staat te stellen een ECG te maken. Het gaat dan vooral om artsen in de ontwikkelingslanden, die werken in afgelegen gebieden en/of die niet over voldoende financiele middelen beschikken. Het is een open source project, hetgeen wil zeggen dat het vrij beschikbaar is voor idereen èn dat iedereen eraan mee kan werken. Het uiteindelijk succes hangt daarmee ook af van de inbreng.

Het open-ecg-project is een wiki, die u hier kunt bezoeken. Het is erg overzichtelijk en goed van opzet. Indien U wilt kunt u er ook een inhoudelijke bijdrage aan leveren. U kunt ook op de hoogte blijven door een feed te nemen op het blog van het openEGCproject of door het openEGCproject op Twitter te volgen. Het openEGCproject heeft ook een eigen YouTube kanaal, waarin o.a. een video is over het openEGCproject (niet al te beste kwaliteit).

Hier kunt u codes voor Medgadgets voor op uw blog of website vinden, zoals: