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FOSS lab software targeting AIDS, malaria, cancer

By   |  June 9, 2010

With an eye on providing public health laboratories with the tools to assist in preventing and treating diseases such as HIV, TB, malaria and cervical cancer, the Bika Health Foundation has launched a fund-raising drive.

The foundation backs the Bika Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) which is already in wide use in the water management, chemistry, wine and mining sectors. The software, which was originally developed in South Africa, has been downloaded more than 30 000 times and is available as free software.

Now the developers are looking to add custom features for public health services. In its appeal the foundation says:

We need R750k ($100k) to customise Bika’s robust water quality system and make it available as Bika Health for public download. We received a 50% grant to this effect from DTI’s Innovation fund [Department of Trade and Industry]…

The need is urgent and we are now rushing up an alpha version to present to further prospects and make available online for review. The Alpha, version 0.3, will cost us approximately R75k, translating neatly to $10,000. We kicked non-profit fund raising and distribution vehicle, The Bika Health Foundation … into gear to collect this and pledged $5,000 of work for free.

Anyone wanting to contribute can do so by visiting the Bika Labs website.

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