From the International Medical Informatics Association

Medinfo2013 Highlights No. 5 – IMIA Standards in Health Care Informatics WG and Related Activity

The IMIA Standards in Health Care Informatics  Working Group will be holding a business meeting at Medinfo2013. The meeting will be on Friday, 23 August from 08:00-09:30am in Meeting Room 19, the Bella center, Copenhagen. Further information on the meeting, agenda, etc. can be obtained from the WG chair and vice chair – see

In addition, other activities relating to standards, directly and indirectly will take place at Medinfo2013, including:

  • Workshop for IMIA Standardization WG, Thursday 22 August, 13:45 – 15:15 in Session Room 5, organized  by Prof. Jun Nakaya;
  • Workshop on Standards in Clinical Decision Support: Activities in Health Level Seven and Beyond, Thursday 22 August, 15:45 – 17:15 in Session Room 5 – Robert Jenders, Guilherme Del Fiol.

Also of relevance, due to the 2013 WHA resolution on ehealth and interoperability, is the WHO Panel, A global perspective to strengthening health systems and accelerating universal health coverage through eHealth (Wednesday 21 August, 08:30 – 10:00).

August 15, 2013 Posted by | IMIA, medinfo, Medinfo2013, standards, WG | , , , | Leave a comment

eHealth standardization and interoperability: New WHA Resolution

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

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.

June 8, 2013 Posted by | standards, WHO | , , , | 3 Comments

WHO: eHealth standardization and interoperability

As reported on the PAHO/WHO Equity ( email list and Twitter feed (, and by the WHO Twitter feed ( ), the WHO Executive Board meeting in Geneva has “considered the report on eHealth and health Internet domain names ( and recommends to the Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly the adoption of the following resolution: “

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.

January 30, 2013 Posted by | ehealth, PAHO, WHO | , , , | Leave a comment

National eHealth Strategy Toolkit From WHO-ITU

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

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

July 16, 2012 Posted by | ehealth, ITU, WHO | , , , , , | 2 Comments

e-Health Standards and Interoperability – Report on
 Joint ITU-WHO Workshop

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

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

SDO actions:
– 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.

June 6, 2012 Posted by | conference, ehealth, standards, WHO | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Joint ITU-WHO Workshop on e-Health Standards and Interoperability

IMIA participated last week (April 26-27, 2012) in the Joint ITU-WHO Workshop on e-Health Standards and Interoperability held at ITU (International Telecommunication Union) Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Documents from the workshop, including presentations, are publicly available on the event website.

The key workshop objective was to start a dialogue towards a comprehensive roadmap on global standards development, interoperability, and adoption for enabling the sustainable development of e health services. The resulting programs could leverage resources from regions, countries, industry, and research institutions, and provide a solid platform for harnessing future innovations within specific national e-health roadmaps.

The background paper: ITU TechWatch Report “E-health Standards and Interoperability“, by Laura DeNardis, American University in Washington, DC, USA, will be of particular interest.

Reports and other outputs from the meeting will be produced.

April 30, 2012 Posted by | conference, ehealth, standards | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Standards Standard (AMIA): Winter 2011-12 Issue Available

The latest issue of AMIA’s The Standards Standard newsletter (Winter 2011-12, Vol. 2, No. 2) is now available – at and previous issues are also available. It is published by AMIA twice a year, in May and December.  The Standard’s mission is to enable the widely dispersed and diverse members of the global health informatics community to understand the importance of health information interoperability, the contribution of health informatics standards, the identities of the key standards development organizations and their contributions, and the challenges of developing good standards that work well together.

The current issue (Winter 2011-12, Vol. 2, No. 2) has:

  • Letters from the Editor in Chief, Dipak Kalra;
  • Interoperability review: Don E. Detmer and Yu-Chuan (Jack) Li, and R.D Kush;
  • Community updates on a range of standards developments involving CEN TC251, DICOM, ISO TC/215, and others.

February 8, 2012 Posted by | AMIA, standards, USA | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fifth Congress on Health Informatics Standards in Latin America – Montevideo, Uruguay: October 13-14, 2011

The Fifth Congress on Health Informatics Standards in Latin America takes place in Montevideo, Uruguay, on October 13th – 14th, 2011. Full information about the event can be found at:

The event is organized by SUIS (Sociedad Uruguaya de Informática en la Salud – and SUEIIDISS (Sociedad Uruguaya de Estandarización, Intercambio e Integración de Datos e Información de Servicios de Salud –

SUIS is a Member Society of IMIA. We encourage all IMIA members to attend.

June 20, 2011 Posted by | conference, IMIA-LAC, region | , , , | Leave a comment

HL7 International Standards and Education Meeting – Sydney Australia, January 2011

The January Meeting of the HL7 International Working Group takes place on January 9-14, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.

The Australian e-Health community will host this HL7 International Working Group Meeting, which will provide the forum for more than 50 Work Groups, Committees and Task Forces to progress the HL7 V2.x, CDA, V3 and EHR Standards. An extensive range of Courses, Tutorials and Workshops will offer opportunities to hear and learn the very latest developments in EHRs, clinical messaging, terminology, etc. from the global experts and leaders in e-health.

HL7 Australia has partnered with the Dept of Health and Ageing, NEHTA, Standards Australia, HL7 New Zealand and Business Events Sydney (NSW Govt.) to host the meeting in Sydney.

Full details are on the website at

The HL7 Meetings are open to anyone interested in e-Health, Health Informatics and Healthcare IT Standards.  The education program of the meeting includes free introductory sessions as well as tutorials at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.

August 24, 2010 Posted by | Australia, conference, standards | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Standards Standard: New AMIA Newsletter

AMIA, the American Medical Informatics Association ( has launched a new publication, The Standards Standard. It will be published by AMIA twice a year, in May and December. AMIA felt the need for a “single destination to get a reliable periodic update on the doings of the world’s major biomedical and healthcare standards setting organizations”. The Standard’s mission is to enable the widely dispersed and diverse members of the global health informatics community to understand the importance of health information interoperability, the contribution of health informatics standards, the identities of the key standards development organizations and their contributions, and the challenges of developing good standards that work well together.

The Standards Standard is available on the AMIA website and by email to AMIA members ( The current issue (May/June 2010, Vol. 1, No. 1) has:

  • Letters from Editor in Chief, Dipak Kalra and AMIA Senior Advisor, Don E. Detmer;
  • Interoperability reviews from Stephen Kay and Christopher Chute;
  • Community updates on a range of standards developments;
  • Information on Standards Development Organizations;
  • and much more.

May 10, 2010 Posted by | AMIA, USA | , , , | Leave a comment