NextCloud: Free & Open Source Cloud file Sharing & Healthcar-ready Platform

NextCloud is a free and open source cloud and file sharing solution, for individuals, teams, organisations and enterprise. NextCloud has been started as fork of ownCloud but managed to drive the concept into another direction.

NextCloud: Free & Open Source Cloud file Sharing & Healthcar-ready Platform

NextCloud is a free and open-source cloud and file sharing solution, for individuals, teams, organizations and enterprise. NextCloud has been started as a fork of ownCloud but managed to drive the concept into another direction. The development team has made sure that NextCloud is HIPAA compatible.

NextCloud File Manager

 The core project is developed to be a developer friendly platform as it provides developers with the documentation to build their applications over it and place it in NextCloud AppStore.

Features Highlight

  • Multiple users and multiple groups/permissions
  • Easy file sharing and management
  • Simple user-interface
  • Calendar ready
  • Many note-taking applications
  • Share file and folders across different contacts
  • Communication apps as chat and messages
  • Activity logs for files usage
  • Powerful encryption
  • PDF file viewer

The DICOM viewer

 NextCloud Appstore has a very powerful DICOM viewer, we have tested it at Medevel.com. It was blazing fast, yet features rich, which makes it ideal as cloud DICOM viewer for healthcare settings as clinics and hospitals.

NextCloud and DICOM Viewer App

NextCloud clients

NextCloud provides a self-hosted cloud server version that works out of the box with any web browser on Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, and mobile web browsers.

In addition to the web version, NextCloud offers desktop applications for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. It also provides mobile apps for Android, iOS, and Windows mobile. The desktop and mobile apps come with file and folder synchronization features and system shell integration. We have tested these features in Mac OSX and Linux.

NextCloud for Healthcare

1- Cloud DICOM viewer:

With the DICOM viewer application, available for one-click installation from the NextCloud AppStore, you can access a full-featured cloud DICOM viewer with syncing capabilities, mobile apps, team and multi-user functionality, and powerful chat/groupware apps. This makes it ideal for radiology staff to communicate and share images and notes with other doctors.

2-Docs/File sharing for Medical Staff

 NextCloud has all the features set and ready to use for teams to share/ store their files securely, packed with activity log to view the user activities regarding the file usage.

3-Docs/File sharing for The Nonmedical Staff

A basic NextCloud installation provides all the necessary features for file sharing, including a PDF file viewer, file tagging, folder management, image viewer, file permissions, public file sharing, and contact management. However, system administrators can browse and install hundreds of other applications to use as they see fit for their teams. These include collaborative document writing tools, security and encryption packages, and antivirus scanners for files.

4-PHR  " Personal Health Records "  for patients and families:

Personal Health Records are basic apps built to help the patient keep record of his medical records securely.

5- Communication platform and Groupware:

  NextCloud has many apps that turn it into a powerful groupware for the teams and groups as calendar, emails, chat, voice chat, collaborative note-taking and writing.

1- DICOM viewer:

DICOM viewer is a feature-rich DICOM viewer app that extends the capability for NextCloud to view DICOM images uploaded to the cloud with ease.

2- Video Chat : Talk

 Video & audio-conferencing using WebRTC.

3- Calendar:

Calendar app is an easy-to-use calendar and when integrated into NextCloud with Calendar notification app it's an ideal solution to set appointments and notifications.

4-Document collaboration apps and PDF converter:

Collabora Online is a rich document collaboration app for teams. Another document collaboration app for groups and teams is OwnPad. Once the document is ready, the user may want to download it as a PDF file. In that case, the PDF file converter app extension provides automated PDF conversion for files tagged as "complete".

5-Email apps:

 There are several email apps provided in NextCloud App store which make it easier for teams to use NextCloud email for work emails.

NextCloud community

NextCloud has a strong community of developers, users, and open-source supporters. It offers enterprise services to various industries, including education, healthcare, finance, law, manufacturing, and construction. NextCloud is becoming more popular in the open-source and enterprise worlds, showing it is a reliable choice.

NextCloud Security

Nextcloud provides both end-to-end encryption and server-side encryption for files, but this can slow down the system. Nextcloud also offers powerful password options for system administrators to enforce strong passwords and check them against breached passwords worldwide.

The Nextcloud App Store has many security apps and extensions, including an Antivirus app, a Two-factor authentication app, Brute-force settings for Whitelist IPs, Login restriction to certain IPs, Ransomware protection, and file recovery. While Nextcloud itself provides secure features, these additional security measures can further enhance its security capabilities.

NextCloud for Developers

NextCloud provides developers with rich and necessary documentation for creating applications on top of NextCloud and uploading them to the NextCloud AppStore.

Recently, NextCloud released an industrial analysis for healthcare usage. The analysis compares public and private cloud systems and emphasizes the necessity of using a private cloud with full control over source code, updates, encryption, and extensions.

While there are many private, open-source, and free clouds available for the healthcare industry, the benefits of using a private cloud are obvious. So, what makes NextCloud different?

  • Adherent to the healthcare standards
  • Committed to provide high security standards
  • Developer friendly
  • Provide solid platform for building cloud apps which can be extended as EMR, Cloud DICOM server
  • Integration with other services

Currently, there is a full-featured DICOM viewer app that is the first and most popular medical/healthcare app for NextCloud. However, in the future, we would like to see more apps from the community, such as an EMR (Electronic Medical Records) or a dedicated PHR for patients, built on top of NextCloud.

Resources

  • NextCloud website.
  • License: GPL
  • Server: Linux
  • Clients: Web browsers, Desktop apps (Linux, MacOSX, and Windows), Mobile Apps (iOS/iPhone and Android)

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