AeHIN 4th GM and #MA4HealthAP Workshop

UHC gaining momentum with ICT investments

JUNE 2015, MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank in collaboration with the World Health Organization and AeHIN, released a policy brief that sets the backdrop on how information and communications technology (ICT) is becoming an enabler to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

Peer-to-peer assistance platforms and communities of practice, such as the Asia eHealth Information Network, is recognized as a vehicle to accelerate progress towards UHC with ICT.  Following the ADB-AeHIN-WHO organized conference on Measuring and Achieving Universal Health Coverage with ICT in Asia Pacific: Making a business case for strategic ICT Investments for quality health care for all, a series of priority action points, tagged as the iCTen Steps, was released and has been included in the brief. These steps serve as a guide for countries to use ICT to improve UHC. Key points of the policy brief are available below.

Key Points

  • Obtaining universal health coverage (UHC) has been widely embraced in Asia and the Pacific. UHC is essential to inclusive growth, health security, and sustainable economic development. To achieve UHC, more resources have to be mobilized for the health sector, and they must be used more efficiently and effectively.
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) innovations in health—or eHealth— are key enablers for achieving and measuring UHC. ICT solutions empower patients and communities to engage at all levels of the health system, and can be transformative through each stage of every country’s health sector development.
  • ICT solutions have the potential to reduce healthcare costs to families, improve equitable access to quality services, efficiently link health systems with social protection programs, and increase accountability and sustainability in health service delivery.
  • Optimizing existing ICT infrastructure and making strategic new investments in eHealth solutions may accelerate UHC in terms of which people, what services and how much of the costs are to be covered.
  • There are significant opportunities, particularly in low resource environments, for timely and innovative use of ICT, but solutions must be harnessed strategically to deliver cheaper and faster UHC in the right context at the right time.
  • Applying lessons learned from experienced peers in the eHealth community of practice will help to rapidly implement solutions that work. The Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) is proving to be a dynamic peerto-peer assistance platform to successfully progress towards UHC with ICT.
  • Measuring UHC with ICT-enabled monitoring systems can also enhance evidence based health policies and decision making with more reliable and sufficient data in formats and frequencies that ensure better health systems performance.

  • Access the policy brief HERE

    Sri Lanka rolls remote hospital appointment system

    28 MAY 2015, COLOMBO, SRI LANKA - A hospital in Sri Lanka recently launched an out-patient doctor’s appointment system after the Ministry of Health forged ties with the country’s leading telecommunications provider. 

    Initially funded by the Sri Lanka Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) and supported by the Korean Foundation of International Health Care (KOFIH), Base Hospital Avissawella, embarked on another partnership with a telecommunications company, Mobitel, to install the mChanneling service.  

    This service will allow out patients to reserve an appointment with the hospital doctors via an automated interactive voice response (IVR) system or calling system.

    Visit of Professor Won Joo Hwang's and professor Hoon Kim's to ICTA. Dr Sumedha Panagoda (former medical supirintendent of Avissawella Base Hospital) and Mr Shriyananda Rathnayake ( Programme manager ICTA), Dr Pradeep Keerthimallawa and Dr Supun Mendis(former MOIC PCU)

    The announcement was made on the anniversary celebration of Base Hospital Avissawella’s Hospital Health Information System (HHIS), coming into full operation with the hospital’s outpatient department. Currently, HHIS has a recorded 100,000 patient’s demographic and clinical records stored.

    Dr Pradeep  Keerthimallawa of the Avissawella Base Hospital's E-Hospital Project team, said that plans are underway to connect laboratory analysis department to the network where mChanneling subscribes to. Along with project leaders Professors Won Joo Hwang and Hoon Kim form INJE University and KOFIH, it will be done once the ward module has been installed in the HHIS. 

    KOFIH and INJE University of South Korea Republics are among the project funders of HHIS with the Ministry of Health Srilanka and ICTA. Together, they shared that they plan to upgrade the hospital into a conceptual model for an eHospital which government hospitals in Sri Lanka can later adopt, once it is completed.


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    Contact Information

    AeHIN Chair

    Dr Alvin Marcelo
    Medical Informatics Unit
    University of the Philippines Manila
    547 Pedro Gil St., Ermita
    Manila, Philippines

    AeHIN Co-Chair

    Dr Boonchai Kijsanayotin
    Health System Research Institute
    National Health Building
    88/39 Tiwanon 14 Road, 
    Muang District
    Nonthaburi, Thailand

    AeHIN Secretariat

    Ms Aliyah Lou Evangelista
    National Telehealth Center
    National Institutes of Health
    University of the Philippines
    Manila, Philippines (skype) (email)