PAHO launches virtual health directory in the Caribbean

Information on the health situation and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the Americas, including the Caribbean, now has a new home, with the launching of a virtual directory of digital health, or eHealth, profiles that includes data and statistics from 47 countries and territories by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

PAHO said on Tuesday that the profiles detail the health situation of each country, such as basic indicators, life expectancy and total expenditure on health per capita – “all in one place.”

They also feature the degree of countries’ development in digital health, as compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO) Global eHealth Observatory, PAHO said.

It said this includes national policies and strategies, legal frameworks, telehealth, electronic medical records, eLearning, and mHealth, which involves the use of mobile devices for health care.

“Although much remains to be done, the profiles are a unique space to learn about what is happening in eHealth in our region,” said David Novillo-Ortiz, coordinator of the PAHO eHealth Program.

Moreover, he added, the profiles will serve to “support decision-making and public policies that can change the lives of thousands of people in the Americas.”

PAHO said the directory will also facilitate the search for regional information by integrating it into a single space.

A description of each country’s eHealth strategies, its national projects and regulations are also included in the profiles, as are PAHO key documents, such as PAHO’s Strategy and Plan of Action on eHealth, which since 2011 supports the region in the development of public policies for the use of ICTs in health.

“This strategy seeks to improve access to and quality of health services, through the use of ICTs,” said PAHO, adding that, among other things, it hopes to, by applying these technologies to health, improve efficiency in the use of time and resources and to increase the inputs to make complex decisions, such as deciding on patient treatment.

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