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ART-EMR is an energy efficient, touch screen input electronic medical record system in Malawi.


ART-EMR was implemented in 2006 in Malawi, although electronic medical records have been used since 2001. Other previous systems, such as one in Lilongwe, also had touch screen inputs. However, it had shortcomings that prompted the government of Malawi to create a task force to establish a new system that would be deployed in six ART centers.


Based on the experience with EMR in Kenya, the system was designed with following features:

  • Touchscreen input to tackle poor computer literacy
  • Direct 48V DC power supply from batteries due to erratic power supply
  • Unique Patient ID with barcode scanner.
  • Patient summary for the visits printed into labels which are affixed to patient health passports or records.


It was initially deployed at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH), Blantyre, and later at six ART centers. The second version of the system is being implemented in two other district hospitals.

System Expansion

The success of the ART-EMR system has precipitated its expansion in response to changing national health needs. Use of the system has expanded into the Northern region of the country with help from Luke International and collaborative partnerships with the Malawi’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Registration Bureau [3].

Use of the system has grown to 50 HIV/AIDS health care providers, and 39 health facilities across the nation have equipped to electronically capture patient information using the system. A Malaria Initiative is investing in the reuse of EMRS data for routine malaria surveillance at the facility level. By March 2012, the ART EMR system had registered over 175,600 patients on ART across 21 health facilities in Malawi [3][4].

Integration of a laboratory information system is also planned for a pilot demonstration at a Central and District hospital. [3]


  1. Using Touchscreen Electronic Medical Record Systems to Support and Monitor National Scale-Up of Antiretroviral Therapy in Malawi Gerald P. Douglas, Oliver J. Gadabu, Sabine Joukes, Soyapi Mumba, Michael V. McKay, Anne Ben-Smith, Andreas Jahn, Erik J. Schouten, Zach Landis Lewis, Joep J. van Oosterhout, Theresa J. Allain, Rony Zachariah, Selma D. Berger, Anthony D. Harries, Frank Chimbwandira; PLoS Med. 2010 August; 7(8):
  2. Implementing electronic medical record systems in developing countries Hamish SF Fraser, Paul Biondich, Deshen Moodley, Sharon Choi, Burk e W Mamlin, Peter Szolovits; Informatics in Primary Care 2005;13:83–95