About me

I am Saptarshi Purkayastha, PhD in Information systems and visiting assistant professor at School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. I have been nominated for the 2016 Board elections by OpenMRS, an open-source electronic medical records platform for low-resource contexts that has been implemented in over 40 countries around the world. I have been a long term contributor to open-source with code contributions to OpenMRS, DHIS 2, OpenSuSE and Netbeans. I use and evangelize many other open source projects. I have lived in India, Norway and United States and visited over 25 countries for research work and vacations. I love traveling, doing adventure sports, exploring food and understanding cultures from around the world.

My role in OpenMRS

I serve in the role of Senior manager of education and certification programs in OpenMRS and I am a core developer in that project. I have been involved in OpenMRS implementations in India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh and have worked as a WHO consultant in these countries to advice ministries of health for their electronic health strategies. I lead the work areas of University outreach, Student internships, Google code-in, Training development, Certification etc.
I am deeply passionate about health equity and believe in sharing the commons. Particularly in health care, which should be a fundamental right of every living being, I believe open-source technologies can help scale healthcare delivery, reduce costs and meet local needs. That is why I contribute to OpenMRS.

Why should you elect me to the OSI Board

I would like to push the OSI to do more activities in the education space. Growth of open source contributors requires nurturing. Providing open source lessons early in their education or careers, will create better long term contributors for the open source movement. I believe that OSI can leverage the strengths of its Affiliate and individual members and make an impact in healthcare and education around open-source. There are many ways in which I envision this can be done:

  1. Partnerships: Partner and coordinate with members who are doing work in open source training and education. Many undergraduate and graduate programs want to teach CS or other subjects using process skills that are gained in participating in open source communities. The partner projects can provide pathways to students in these communities.
  2. Training content: We will share curriculum and content that can be used by professors, communities and contributors on soft skills (like being good community members) as well as hard skills (like versioning or QA or bug reporting).
  3. Evangelizing open standards in health care: Healthcare is a particularly important domain where open standards becomes a matter of life or death, when information sharing is blocked. OSI as an important open source consortium can guide the healthcare organizations to participate in stewardship of the commons.

You can reach me at twitter: or sunbiz at


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