The People Who Support Linux: Brazilian Developer Hacks Health Care with BeagleBoard and Android
A few years ago, Brazilian developer Daniel Neis Araujo couldn’t imagine building open source health care equipment that could compete with traditional and respected proprietary solutions. But recent advances in Linux and the open hardware movement have allowed a faster development pace and a lower cost of entry for startups in the telemedicine field, in particular, he said.
So six months ago he co-founded Atto Systems Engineering in Florianópolis, Brazil, with the aim of making intercommunication between medical devices better and cheaper. They’re using Android on BeagleBoard to help solve some critical issues, including system consistency after crashes over time, touchscreen interfacing, supported hardware and overall system performance.
“We think that if we can push a little more of the “linux philosophy" into this field, we'll make it better,” Neis Araujo said via email.
The startup has faced some criticism from the health care establishment for its open source technical approach, he said. But they’re trying to solve problems that would otherwise have no commercial viability.
“When a few kids, in a short time … creat(e) solutions as good, as stable and cheaper than the few proprietary ones, well, they are magicians (not the case), or the technical tools they use must be really powerful,” Neis Araujo said.
Open Source Professional
This is not his first open source project. Neis Araujo has worked since 2005 as a developer on Moodle, a Learning Management System at Federal University of Santa Catarina that provides virtual classrooms for teachers and students to interact via forums, quizzes and other activities.
He later went to work for the university, helping to maintain its main Moodle deployment and assist in e-learning undergraduate and post-graduate courses. He’s worked with Linux since taking an undergraduate computer science class in 2004.
“Today, the whole infrastructure we use for the Moodle deploys at UFSC are based on Linux, Apache and MySQL (and recently we're trying Nginx),” he said. “I help tune and keep all these services running for 500K+ visits / week.”
He recently joined The Linux Foundation as an individual member to give back to the community and get more involved with kernel development. Welcome Daniel!