File and document sharing is always a requirement for healthcare services. Though most of the ERP  "Enterprise Resource Planning", HIS "Hospital Information System" and EMR "Electronic Medical Records" so as EHR are not providing file sharing utility out of the box.

Most of EMRs and HIS solutions are focusing on managing the  patients records, the clinical workflow, laboratory records, billing information and human resources which are set of records and structured data saved in central storage database. But what about managing and sharing files between medical staff such as images, audio files, documents, scanned hardcopies, pdf files, encrypted documents, legal documents, notes and such?

The perfect solution: self-hosted open source file sharing solutions.

The Term self-hosted means the user can install the solution on his own infrastructure, and as long as the solution is open source, the user has the transparency of the solution as well as free of charge.

There are many open source, self-hosted solutions out there. Here, we picked the most healthcare, privacy aware and security oriented ones for healthcare IT specialists and hospital managers to choose from.

Why secure file sharing is required?

Features of the healthcare compatible file sharing solutions:

  • Security:

The solution should provide the security measures required to secure the file storage, sharing and transfer.

  • Portability:

Usable and accessible from different solutions as mobile phones, tablets, different operating systems as Linux, Windows and Mac OSX.

  • Privacy:

Privacy aware solutions are the most fit to be usable in healthcare settings.

  • Easy usable user interface:

The solution should have a usable user interface to fit for different types of users with different technical backgrounds from simple users to advanced IT specialists and developers.

Developer-oriented features:

  • Integration-ready:

Is it ready to be integrated with the current running installable systems or not?

  • Developer-friendly:

Does the project provide developer documentations for integration, developing apps and extensions? Does the project provide a REST API?

This list covers the most usable free and open source cloud file storage and sharing solutions.

1- NextCloud:

NextCloud is our top pick here as it's not just about file sharing but a complete platform and also HIPAA  compatible which means it's the perfect candidate for hospitals, clinics and medical centres.

NextCloud has started as a fork of OwnCloud but takes it to the next step, featuring groupware, chat and video chat apps.

Platforms:

  Server: Linux

  Clients: Browser on Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, iOS application for iPhone and Android app

Development status: Active

Developer note : Developers can build their own applications.

Website , Download

2- LinShare:

LinShare is an open source file sharing software, aiming to provide enterprise grade free solution for business. LinShare has the most required features to work in healthcare setting layout as high security measures, data encryption, secure uploads, email sharing, activity logs and powerful user management. Large file sharing is one of the key features of LinShare so as contact management which allow sharing the files easily between coworkers.

Platform:

  Server: Linux

  Client : Browser with responsive design which works well with mobile and tablets

Development status : Active

LinShare

3- Aurora files:

Aurora Files is an open source file sharing software, providing easy to install and use cloud file storage system with few tweaks but powerful encryption. Aurora files supports Google drive and Dropbox so as social network login, Ms Office file viewer, Zipped file viewer, Mobile applications and desktop clients.

Key features :

  • Developer friendly
  • Paranoid encryption technology
  • Team sharing

Platform:

  Server : Apache, Nginx or MS IIS, preferred Linux.

  Clients : Browser, desktop clients, Mobile apps

Development status : Active

https://afterlogic.org/aurora-files

4 - ProjectSend:

ProjectSend is a self-hosted free and open source file sharing solution. It provides out of the box secure file sharing platform for teams with activity logs about the file usage. It might be basic than other solutions listed here but it might be more than enough as simple secure file sharing solution.

ProjectSend

5 - NitroShare:

NitroShare is an open source network file sharing software, It was been developed to work on different operating systems as Windows, Linux and MacOSX.

Platforms : Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.

NitroShare website.