Joaquin Blaya, PhD

Head of strategic partnerships

Joaquin heads Strategic Partnerships in the Global Health Division of ThoughtWorks, focusing on Bahmni, a hospital information system based on the open source tools OpenMRS, OpenERP, and OpenELIS.

He founded and was CEO of an automated chronic disease management company in Chile whose technology was shown to decrease HbA1c in diabetic patients by 1.3 points. Previously, he worked with the non-profit Partners In Health (PIH) and the Peruvian Ministry of Health in implementing mobile and web based laboratory systems and showing that they could significantly reduce errors, communication delays, as well as having a clinical impact in having patients stop transmitting drug-resistant tuberculosis 20% earlier.

Joaquin is currently a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School, moderator of the Health IT community of practice at, and on the Board of Directors of OpenMRS, an open source Electronic Medical Record platform. He did his undergraduate at the University of Miami, received his Master’s from MIT in rehabilitation and robotics, and his Ph.D. from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology (HST). 

The Interview

I came to find ThoughtWorks by

OpenMRS and Partners In Health (PIH). ThoughtWorks became involved in the OpenMRS community of which I was a member early on and was on the board and also because several a couple of people who had worked at Partners In Health, where I did my PhD, where at ThoughtWorks.

With ThoughtWorks, I've visited

Ecuador, China, India (Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad), Uganda, multiple cities in the US (Chicago, New York, Washington DC), Sri Lanka, London, and more to come.

The thing I love most about my work is

Hard to put just one. The people I work with, the energy within ThoughtWorks, and our objective of having a positive impact in some of the poorest parts of the world.