Improving the health of individuals and communities, and strengthening health systems, disease detection and prevention are crucial to development and poverty reduction. ICT has the potential to impact almost every aspect of the health sector. In public health, information management and communication processes are pivotal, and are facilitated or limited by available ICT.
The use of ICT for health, or e-health, is fundamental in health care delivery and public health practice. It has particular value in responding to shared global health challenges such as emerging epidemics or the health consequences of natural disasters. It is well documented that ICT is sorely lacking in countries that need it most: those countries most vulnerable to threats from diseases, disasters and poverty. Numerous country projects show the potential for improving use of ICT in public health, but the ability to plan and implement eHealth on a large scale, while adapting it to local health problems, presents a huge challenge particularly in countries in conflict and transition. Beyond the technology and financial challenges, countries need support in policy, priority setting and governance of ICT partnerships, which can be designed to benefit more than onesector.
It will be the goal of this Community to improve the foundation for ICT for the health sector in developing countries. Through the input of stakeholders from UN agencies, industry, governments, NGOs and academia, the proposed Community will work towards the following objectives:
- Develop and validate a joint planning process to support implementation of ICT for public health, specifically the International Health Regulations , epidemic response or other priority area.
- Explore initial governance issues in the context of public-private partnerships in ICT for the health sector; develop and test principles for effective governance to be shared with and potentially adopted by GAID.
Key outputs include development of workshops which will bring together country teams for joint planning:
- Definition of the phases for the health sector infrastructure requirements in countries, with priorities (eg connecting National focal points, national and regional laboratories, and major hospitals).
- Establish a mapping process for identifying country ICT available to the sector, linking to national e-strategies.
- Generate options to fill the gaps, leveraging other initiatives and sectors
- Define and facilitate the policy environment and governance principles required for investment and implementation.
World Health Organization
- Fordham Universit