The recent sixty-sixth World Health Assembly, meeting in Geneva on 27 May, 2013, adopted a new resolution on eHealth standardization and interoperability, which also addressed the .health generic top level domain name (gTLD). The full text of the resolution (WHA 66.24) is now available through the World Health Organization (WHO) website at http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA66/A66_R24-en.pdf
Among other issues, the resolution urges Member States “to consider … options to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including national authorities, relevant ministries, health care providers, and academic institutions, in order to draw up a road map for implementation of ehealth and health data standards at national and subnational levels; to consider developing … policies and legislative mechanisms linked to an overall national eHealth strategy, in order to ensure compliance in the adoption of ehealth and health data standards by the public and private sectors, as appropriate, and the donor community, as well as to ensure the privacy of personal clinical data; and to consider ways for ministries of health and public health authorities to work with their national representatives on the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee in order to coordinate national positions towards the delegation, governance and operation of health-related global top-level domain names in all languages, including “.health”, in the interest of public health.”
Our thanks to Dr Najeeb Al-Shorbaji, from WHO, for his tweet on the availability of this full text.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA), a Non-Governmental Organization in Official Relations with WHO, will hold an Industry Stakeholder Consultation on 27 February 2013, at WHO headquarters in Geneva (see http://www.who.int/ehealth/en/). This Consultation is part of the Transnational Health Data Reuse Initiative leading up to the 2013 European Summit on the Trustworthy Reuse of Health Data to be held on 3-4 June 2013 in Brussels, Belgium (http://euhealthdata2013.imia.info/)
The objective of the consultation is to share perspectives of industry stakeholders on the use of health data obtained from electronic medical records. Participation is open to representatives of European health-related companies, including health information technology and information technology companies, data aggregators, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, and others. Expressions of interest to participate in the Industry Stakeholder’s Consultation will be collected until 7 February 2013 via the link on http://www.who.int/ehealth/health_data_reuse/en/index.html. Please note that an expression of interest to participate does not guarantee a place. Formal invitations will be issued, on a space available basis, by 11 February 2013. Due to space limitations, organizations will be limited to one representative. For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
As reported on the PAHO/WHO Equity (http://new.paho.org/equity/) email list and Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/eqpaho), and by the WHO Twitter feed (https://twitter.com/WHO ), the WHO Executive Board meeting in Geneva has “considered the report on eHealth and health Internet domain names (http://bit.ly/X6HbX6) and recommends to the Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly the adoption of the following resolution: http://bit.ly/Vun2zX “
IMIA, as an NGO in official relations with the WHO attended in the meeting, and IMIA President Prof. Antoine Geissbuhler presented a statement by IMIA on the issues addressed.
WHO are seeking input to develop the 2013 edition of their Compendium of innovative health technologies: medical devices and eHealth solutions. The Compendium series was initiated to encourage a dialogue between stakeholders and stimulate further development and technology dissemination. The deadline for submission is 15 March 2013, and submissions are invited from all sectors.
An important and unique feature of this publication is that the health technologies included are particularly suitable for use in low-resource settings. Medical devices and eHealth solutions have the potential to improve lives. However, too many people worldwide suffer because they don’t have access to the appropriate health technologies. This call highlights the importance of these innovative technologies towards improved health outcomes and the quality of life. WHO aims to raise awareness of the pressing need for appropriate design solutions.
Please note that submissions are invited from all sectors and that the closing date this year will be 15 March 2013.
Full details including the submission forms are available at http://www.who.int/ehealth There is a PDF file describing the context and what information is requested (http://www.who.int/entity/ehealth/Compendium_2013.pdf) – in addition, there are separate forms for the two categories of submission (eHealth solutions and medical devices).
The previous compendium can be found at: www.who.int/ehealth/resources/compendium2012/en/index.html
Seminar Nº1: eHealth and The Rockefeller Foundation Experience and Vision – Karl Brown, Associate Director, Applied Technology at Rockefeller Foundation. Friday October 5, 2012, at 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT (Washington, DC USA).
This is the first in the KMC Seminar series, which will happen every two months. All Seminars will be life-streamed, and opened for participation via Elluminate, or via telephone. For those who cannot follow the live seminar, the recordings and presentations will be available at PAHO ICT4health at: http://new.paho.org/ict4health/
Virtual room: http://www.paho.org/virtual/ict4health
2:00: Welcome Remarks – Marcelo D’Agostino KMC Area Manager PAHO/WHO
2:05 eHealth and The Rockefeller Foundation Experience and Vision – Karl Brown, Associate Director, Applied Technology at Rockefeller Foundation
2:30 Comments, Questions & Answers Moderator: PAHO/WHO
3:00 Concluding Remarks: Marcelo D’Agostino KMC Area Manager PAHO/WHO
To participate online: To login to the Virtual session, go to http://new.paho.org/virtual/ehealth and type your name on the sign in page.
PAHO/WHO eHealth portal: http://new.paho.org/ict4health
CD51/13 — PAHO/WHO Strategy and Plan of Action on eHealth
CD51/13 — OPS/OMS Estrategia y Plan de acción sobre eSalud
CD51/13— OPAS/OMS Estratégia e Plano de Ação para eSaúde
CD51/13– OPS/OMS Stratégie et Plan d’action sur la cybersanté
August issue of the WHO Bulletin
The August 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization is now available at http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/90/8/en/index.html
The Bulletin is available in a variety of different formats, including on electronic publishing devices, Kindle readers and as a Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) digital talking book. Abstracts and other items are available in عربي, 中文, Français, Русский and Español. The DAISY digital format assists people who have challenges using regular printed media. DAISY digital talking books offer the benefits of regular audiobooks, but also include navigation. For more information about Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) digital talking book, see http://www.daisy.org
Among content highlights:
EDITORIAL Trans-disciplinary research to improve health systems’ disaster readiness and response – Samantha Watson et al. doi: 10.2471/BLT.12.106120
SYSTEMATIC REVIEW A systematic review of Demographic and Health Surveys: data availability and utilization for research – Madeleine Short Fabic et al. doi: 10.2471/BLT.11.095513
PERSPECTIVES The role of biomedical engineering in disaster management in resource-limited settings – Andrea Fernandes & Muhammad H Zaman doi: 10.2471/BLT.12.104901
An informatics agenda for public health: summarized recommendations from the 2011 AMIA PHI Conference
AMIA announces that this publication (by Barbara L Massoudi, Kenneth W Goodman, Ivan J Gotham, John H Holmes, Lisa Lang, Kathleen Miner, David D Potenziani, Janise Richards, Anne M Turner, Paul C Fu) is now online, freely accessible on the JAMIA website. PHI 2011 convened dedicated individuals to work together on a shared vision to take public health to the next level of critical development through Public Health Informatics. Nationally known experts gathered to focus on key areas of public health informatics including ethics, technical frameworks, professional training and workforce development, research and evaluation and sustainability. Participants revisited the national agenda developed at the AMIA Spring Congress in 2001, assessed the progress that has been made in the past decade, and developed recommendations to further guide the field. Participants identified 62 recommendations. See the article on the JAMIA website.
The National eHealth Strategy Toolkit, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is available via the ITU website at http://www.itu.int/pub/D-STR-E_HEALTH.05-2012
The National eHealth Strategy Toolkit is described as “an expert, practical guide that provides governments, their ministries and stakeholders with a solid foundation and method for the development and implementation of a national eHealth vision, action plan and monitoring framework. All countries, whatever their level of development, can adapt the Toolkit to suit their own circumstances.”
The development of the toolkit represents one of the most significant collaborations in recent years between the WHO and the ITU, the Toolkit is a landmark in understanding what eHealth is, what it can do, and why and how it should be applied to health care today. Many of the documents are downloadable as free PDF files, although a charge is made for paper copies.
The Toolkit has 3 main parts, each divided into a number of chapters addressing specific issues:
Part 1: Establishing a national eHealth vision – with chapters including national contexts for eHealth, engaging with stakeholders, drafting an initial vision, and gathering information on the eHealth environment.
Part 2: Developing a national eHealth action plan – with chapters including developing eHealth action lines, determining high-level resource requirements, applying funding constraints to refine plans, and defining implementation phases.
Part 3: Monitoring and evaluation – with chapters including developing an eHealth monitoring and evaluation framework, defining baseline and target measures for indicators, and defining supporting governance and processes.
Colleagues accessing these materials may also wish to explore the workshop materials of the Joint ITU-WHO Workshop on e-Health Standards and Interoperability, held Geneva, 26-27 April 2012 – available at http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-T/Workshops-and-Seminars/e-Health/201204/Pages/default.aspx
The July 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization is now available at http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/90/7/en/index.html
The Bulletin is available in a variety of different formats, including on electronic publishing devices, Kindle readers and as a Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) digital talking book. Abstracts and other items are available in عربي, 中文, Français, Русский and Español.
The DAISY digital format assists people who have challenges using regular printed media. DAISY digital talking books offer the benefits of regular audiobooks, but also include navigation. For more information about Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) digital talking book, see http://www.daisy.org
A joint ITU-WHO workshop on “e-Health standards and Interoperability” was held at ITU headquarters in Geneva, 26-27 April. It gathered experts from the healthcare and ICT communities to discuss means of leveraging today’s advanced communications capabilities to achieve more efficient, cost-effective and equitable health services worldwide. IMIA participated in the workshop, and the IMIA CEO, Dr Peter Murray, chaired one of the discussion sessions.
A summary report on the workshop, together with links to presentations, is available via the ITU website – see http://bit.ly/KIvIHC
Actions were suggested to the various stakeholders, including:
Suggested ITU-WHO actions:
- Joint policy brief on the essentiality of standards and interoperability to the exchange of medical data, as well as outreach activities to educate policy-makers and business leaders on the relevance and application of e-health standards
- Creation of an e-health Working Group to advise ITU and WHO on steps to be taken in the future
- Collaborate with other Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) to create an information portal detailing all available healthcare standards and best practices in their application
- Coordinate with the new HL7 initiative on mobile e-health
- ITU and HL7 to develop a specification for the use of ITU-T X.1303 CAP specification within HL7 to deliver health warning messages
- Consider effective cost models for e-health standards licensing
- Collaborate in the development of a common e-health standards roadmap; ensuring no work is duplicated, and encouraging a converged view on the structure of data and information in the e-health context.
The Special Theme issue on e-health of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (Volume 90, Number 5, May 2012, 321-400) has been published today, 01 May, 2012. The full content is available online via http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/90/5/en/index.html
Individual articles are readable and downloadable in a variety of formats (including HTML files, PDF files, and e-reader formats). Abstracts and other items are available in عربي, 中文, Français, Русский and Español
Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2012;90:321-321. doi: 10.2471/BLT.12.000512
Writing in the editorials, Najeeb Al-Shorbaji & Antoine Geissbuhler discuss how to establish an evidence base for e-health; JEWC van Gemert-Pijnen et al. look at ways to improve the credibility of e-health technologies. In the news section, Claire Keeton examines ways of measuring e-health impact, Michael Dumiak looks into the future of e-health, and in an interview, five leading e-health thinkers debate key challenges in the field.
Among other items, Phil Seidenberg et al. examine how mobile phone texting helped diagnosis in infants, Maria Beatriz Alkmim et al. assess how a telehealth network has helped patients, Jørn Braa et al. examine how workshops have boosted data use in Zanzibar, and Soatiana Rajatonirina et al. look at the African island’s ‘real time’ surveillance system. Richard Wootton et al. discuss how telemedicine delivers humanitarian services, Trevor Lewis et al. present findings from the Center for Health Market Innovations, Frances S Mair et al. examine factors that promote or inhibit e-health implementation, and John D Piette et al. discuss the next step for e-health in low and middle-income countries.
The production of this Special Theme issue has been made possible by the dedicated work of the project team over the past 18 months, lead by IMIA President Antoine Geissbuhler and Najeeb Al-Shorbaji from WHO, and involving many IMIA colleagues within the project team, as authors and as reviewers. The production was also supported financially by several donor and sponsor organisations (including PEPFAR and IDRC). The first editorial, Establishing an evidence base for e-health: the proof is in the pudding, by Najeeb Al-Shorbaji & Antoine Geissbuhler gives some of the background to the production of this Special Theme issue: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/90/5/12-106146/en/index.html
The Bulletin, one of the world’s leading public health journals, is a peer-reviewed monthly with a special focus on developing countries. The Bulletin is one of the top 10 public and environmental health journals. It is essential reading for all public health decision-makers and researchers who require its special blend of research, well-informed opinion and news.
IMIA is a Non Government Organization (NGO) in special relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO).