Social Media & SMS: Our two new services

If you are a health organization looking at growing your health informatics profile in Sri Lanka its hard to ignore social media and the mobile phone. Consider the facts:

  • There are nearly 500,000 social media users in Sri Lanka who are 25 and above who have mentioned either healthcare and/or medicine as an area of interest*. This is nearly 14% of the entire facebook population in Sri Lanka!
  • Even conservatively social media is growing at the rate of over 1.5 to 2 percent per year in Sri Lanka alone.
  • Mobile phones are now the top source of internet use even in Sri Lanka.

With these stats in mind Health Lab Crew is happy to announce our two new services: Social and SMS

Social Media

Our dedicated social media team has over 4 years experience in social media for health associations such as the Sri Lanka Medical Association and Ceylon Medical Journal.


Keeping in touch with your membership can be quite a challenge. At the same time informing them about important news and events can be rewarding experience both for the institution and member. Our SMS service is a one time installation which can then be designed to send custom SMS. The SMS can even be broken down into different categories (e.g. Life or Ordinary) so the right member gets the right message. You can even receive a SMS reply with our service.


5 Best Chrome Extension to increase your Productivity

Google Chrome comes with a huge collection of extensions and apps . Today lets talk about useful extensions to improve your productivity by reducing your time wasting, organizing  your content while surfing the net.

1. LastPass

Today almost every site comes with members profile. So  you may end up with several user name and passwords. Practically its not possible to remember all these. Last pass is well-known password storage services. This has chrome extension where you can store all your password from single user name and password.


Continue Reading..


Protect your website with these tips!

When it comes to a health website, Sri Lanka is no different to any other country. Whether your website is or .lk or even if your website is hosted locally you are vulnerable to getting hacked and losing your precious data. Based on the recently released website safety tips released by Google, here are our best practices to make sure your website and data are safe:

Always use latest and trusted

  • Always use the latest CMS versions. Don’t listen to those who says older versions are better unless you are having some sort of outdated plugin.
  • When creating password never create one password for all administrator logins. Also limit the access retries with a plugin.
  • Always ensure your plugins are reliable and reputable (This link will show you how)

See through the eyes of Google

  • Another thing you can do is when a site is down is see if the hacker has redirected traffic to a hacked page.
  • You can use the Fetch as Google tool which is basically your website as seen by Google. Check it out.

Google also recommends you use a secure FTP or SFTP, check your htaccess and similar sensitive files for read/write permissions and always be vigilant for any sort of change in files or structure when you access your web admin panel.

These are just some of the tips we use to protect our sites. What sort of tools do you use? Give us your thoughts here or @hlabcrew!

(CC Flickr kris krüg



EHRs and the problems of closed systems

An electronic health record or EHR is an organized, systematic collection of health data of an individual or a community. Many doctors will have their own ideas about what sort of system they would like to use. Looking at the EHR market from a public health point of view requires these EHR systems to be interoperable, so that any citizen can move from his physician to another one without too much difficulty.

This can present a problem from a business sense to larger software companies who would like that their software be the predominant software in the market. When systems are inter-operable it means that customers don’t have to be trapped in to what is known as vendor lock-in. The outcome is two-fold. From the side of the medical practitioner it means he/she cannot move his practice’s EHR to, for example, a more modern EHR without incurring significant costs. From the patient’s side it means the medical practitioner cannot easily help the patient who maybe moving to another city to move his/her patient’s data with them.

A case in point is the EHR Epic. It is one of the biggest providers of EHRs and by many counts has saved many lives by its efficient system. The issue is interoperability. Epic, just like and other EHR has to move with the US Government’s ‘Meaningful Use‘ interoperability programme which is moving into stage 2, and Epic is feeling the heat.

While EHRs and PHRs are in it’s infancy in Sri Lanka, The take home message for a medical practitioner is to be responsible when choosing your EHR or any Health Informatics system. A good EHR should be one that that is efficient but at the same time is serves the needs of your patient by having an easy way to transfer their data to the next practitioner. This can only make sense on the long run.