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8 principles for the digital transformation of the Americas

The Digital Health specialist of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Marcelo D'Agostino, presented the principles for digital transformation in the region.

During the first day of activities of the Digital Health Forum of the Central American Network of Health Informatics (RECAINSA), the specialist Marcelo D'Agostino, Senior Advisor on Information Systems and Digital Health at PAHO/WHO, presented the keynote speech “ 8 Principles to Digitally Transform the Region of the Americas”.

Organizations such as RECAINSA itself, the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, the Inter-American Development Bank, among others, participated in the creation and selection of the eight principles.

IS4H (Information Systems for Health) and its five-level maturity model are among the regional actions that gave rise to the principles for digital transformation. This allows countries to measure the level of maturity of each of the strategic areas: data and information management; governance and public policies; information and knowledge management; and innovation. This exercise was carried out since 2016, before the pandemic, according to D'Agostino.

Regarding the most recent actions, in February of this year, an exercise was carried out with various countries in the region in search of building solutions for specific contexts. For this, the four strategic areas were taken into account.

Finally, the Information Systems Framework for Health and its four strategic areas, which was the model used by PAHO/WHO before the pandemic, was updated to the 8 guiding principles of the digital transformation of the health sector. "We did this with great conviction, two weeks ago we celebrated five years with IS4H, which has given us a solid foundation, so that today we can move towards this concept of the digital transformation of the health sector," explained the specialist.

These are the eight principles and their objectives:

  • Universal connectivity: Ensure universal connectivity in the health sector by 2030.
  • Digital Public Goods: Cooking Digital Public Health Goods for a More Equitable World.
  • Inclusive digital health: Accelerate towards inclusive digital health with an emphasis on the most vulnerable.
  • Interoperability: Implement interoperable, open and sustainable digital health and information systems.
  • Human rights: Mainstream human rights in all areas of the digital transformation in health.
  • Artificial Intelligence: Engage in global cooperation on artificial intelligence and any emerging technology.
  • Information security: Establish trust and information security mechanisms in the digital environment of public health.
  • Public health architecture: Designing the architecture of public health in the age of digital interdependence.

“Today more than ever a multisectoral approach is required, but above all an interdisciplinary one. Today is the moment where you touch the professions have something to contribute at the same level in health issues, this is key to understand, since technological issues have always been considered as something complementary and were hardly part of a discussion of priorities or of formulation or evaluation of public policies”, explained D'Agostino as part of his reflections.

Finally, the Digital Health specialist called for the reduction of inequities and gaps so that people in the region who do not have internet access can connect. Finally, he emphasized digital health education, the importance of data for public health, and the need to move towards open public health.

Watch the full talk at the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dwdqpkgkxE

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