This page includes descriptions of the clinical modelling tools used to create computerized clinical decision support (CDS) applications:

Download links for each program are available at the end of each section.

Archetype Editor

The Archetype Editor, developed and maintained by Ocean Informatics, is the primary tool for authoring and editing archetypes. It is a Unicode-enabled application available in many different languages, and supports archetypes in all Unicode standard languages. It is dependent on Microsoft’s .NET framework and requires an MS Windows environment with .NET 2.0 (or higher) or other operating system with MS Windows virtualization providing .NET capability. The Archetype Editor allows created archetypes to be saved as either XML files or the more popular ADL 1.4, but supports viewing of the archetype definitions and metadata in RTF, XML, ADL or HTML.

Before creating a new archetype, it is in the spirit of the openEHR reuse philosophy to first check if a published version (final iteration) of the desired archetype already exists in any publicly accessible archetype repository. See the Resources page for a list of available Clinical Knowledge Manager (CKM) repositories containing hundreds of finished models.

Download the Archetype Editor at:

GDL2 Editor

GDL2 files (guidelines) contain the clinical knowledge and application logic required for computerized clinical decision support. The GDL2 Editor (GE) is an open-source, java-based, multiplatform application used to create, edit and run GDL2 files. Because of its reliance on the openEHR reference model and archetype model, the application is natural language and reference terminology agnostic.

GE is used to define sets of rules as well as trigger events based on statements obtained from a reference clinical guideline. In addition to defining guideline rules and triggers, GE also generates data entry forms based on the underlying archetypes which allow the user input data that triggers the rules. When integrated with an EHR system, input data can be automatically acquired from the patient records, triggering the decision support logic resulting in the relevant guideline-based recommendation.

GE output files are saved as GDL2 (guideline definition language) files. The application is developed and maintained by Cambio Healthcare Systems.

Download the GDL2 Editor at:

Template Designer

For archetypes to become operational, they must first be added to a template. The Template Designer (TD) is the primary tool for creating archetype-based templates. It allows the creation of use-case specific templates from one or more archetypes; it supports drag-and-drop interaction, nesting of archetypes, constraining of archetypes (exclusion of optional data elements not relevant to the current template), defining of external reference terminology sets, mapping of other data types to openEHR (‘legacy data’ to openEHR data), as well as design of data entry forms.

The TD interface is in English, but data fields/template entries bear the original language in which the component archetypes were authored. The application requires Microsoft .NET framework and saves designed templates as OET files. Users can optionally export templates as OPT (operational/runtime format for archetype-based templates), HTML or CSV. Template files can also be viewed in XML. The Template Designer software is developed and maintained by Ocean Informatics.

Download the Template Designer at: