We share this urgent call for action on the issue of the new .health gTLD (and other health gTLDs). IMIA has been engaged in ongoing activities on the topics, together with other organisations. We ask that colleagues try to support the call for action, and also that they share this call with other colleagues.
The full text of the call for action can be found at http://eepurl.com/5Hxn9 and can be shared with others. It also gives background information.
Many people and organisations have expressed concern about ICANN’s handling of the allocation of the .health gTLD without sufficient public interest safeguards. A summary of issues is on the WHO website at http://www.who.int/ehealth/programmes/governance/en/
You can make a difference by directly engaging in ICANN’s policy processes via an online public forum this THURSDAY, OCTOBER 16 – 14:00-17:00PM PDT. Participation is easy and will not take much of your time: All you have to do is visit the following URL (http://la51.icann.org/en/schedule/thu-public-forum), and then click the “Virtual Meeting Room Stream Live” link, click the option to participate as a guest, and you will be entered into an adobe connect chat room where you can participate and voice your concerns. Or send comments to email@example.com and ask that comments be included in the public interest session.
The latest, August 2014, issue of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization is now available at http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/92/8/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
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on the ICANN Board to require the adoption of various principles to govern health-related gTLDs, and in particular a future .health gTLD. “Establishing much-needed governing principles for the .health gTLD is the key to ensuring the Internet can play its proper role in supporting global public health”, the statement concludes. The WHO statement and principles, together with background information, are available at http://www.who.int/ehealth/programmes/governance/en
The WHO state that the adoption of appropriate and sound governance, principles and rules for the .health gTLD would establish a safe and reliable space on the Internet for health. They further state that these “Governing Principles and GAC safeguards would offer the transparency, quality, security and control needed for online health services to thrive, while protecting consumers and industry from the serious fraud and abuse prevalent today. Further, a reliable and trustworthy Internet would enable the exchange of sensitive health information during joint action in emergencies such as disease outbreaks and natural disasters, and enhance the capability of health authorities to share and analyse diverse data from many sources”. The principles are listed at http://www.who.int/ehealth/programmes/governance/en/index3.html
The Joint Inter-Ministerial Policy Dialogue on eHealth Standardization and Second WHO Forum on eHealth Standardization and Interoperability was hosted by WHO on 10 and 11 February, 2014 at WHO headquarters in Geneva. Participants of the Forum included representatives from WHO Member States, health data standards development organizations (SDOs), academic and research institutions, implementing partners, the donor community, and subject matter experts concerned with development, adoption and implementation of health data standards at national and sub-national level. IMIA and its members were well-represented at this event; participants included IMIA Past President Antoine Geissbuhler, IMIA CEO Peter Murray, and colleagues from COACH (Don Newsham), AMIA (Chris Chute, Charles Jaffe), IAMI India (Jai Ganesh Udayasankaran), TMIA Thailand (Boonchai Kijsanayotin) [note: participants were not necessarily present as formal representatives of these organisations].
The Final Report of the meeting is available on the WHO website (http://www.who.int/entity/ehealth/events/final_forum_report.pdf?ua=1) In line with the recommendations of the First Forum on eHealth Standardization and Interoperability held in December 2012 (http://www.who.int/ehealth/forum2012/en/) and the recent Resolution WHA66.24, the objectives of the Second Forum were to facilitate a dialogue on the need for policy and governance mechanisms for adoption of health data standards in countries and to draft a policy and governance framework for full adoption of standards at national and sub-national levels. Other materials are also available through the Forum website at http://www.who.int/ehealth/events/standardization_forum_2014/en/
The Forum was hosted by WHO’s Knowledge, Ethics and Research department within the Health Systems and Innovation cluster. It was co-chaired by Najeeb Al Shorbaji and Ramesh Krishnamurthy. The Forum addressed 19 key questions related to six thematic areas:
- Policy approaches in eHealth standardization and interoperability
- Successful policy interventions to overcome barriers in standards adoption
- Governance, stewardship, equity and health systems integration of data standards and interoperability
- Policy and statutory authority components
- Regional perspectives on governance and stewardship of eHealth standardization
- Essentials of a good policy framework for adoption of standards for interoperability of eHealth systems.
IMIA, together with several other NGOs with specific interest in health and informatics, have expressed concern to ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – www.icann.org) about the allocation of the new Internet domain names, and in particular that the proposed generic safeguards for health-related names are not adequate. They, and other organisations and individuals, are calling on the ICANN Board to delay the allocation of .health and other health-related names until adequate safeguards, and baseline conditions for their implementation, are in place.
We ask that any other individuals and organisations who share such concerns should also urgently write to the ICANN Board, expressing these concerns. A draft letter, which can be customised as people see fit, is attached here.
A letter published in The Lancet in October 2013 outlines some of the issues (http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2813%2962215-1/fulltext). In addition, the World Health Assembly (WHA), meeting in Geneva in 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 available through the World Health Organization (WHO) website at http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA66/A66_R24-en.pdf In relation to the issue of new health domains, it urges Member States ” 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.”
Some background information on the issues, and current status, is at: http://icannwiki.com/index.php/.health
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