Improving the health of women and children is a global health imperative, reflected in two of the most compelling Millennium Development Goals which seek specifically to reduce maternal and infant deaths by 2015. This joint report by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), based on a 64-country survey, demonstrates - as never before in such detail - the vital role that information and communication technologies (ICTs) and particularly eHealth are playing today in helping achieve those targets. It demonstrates how, every day, eHealth is saving the lives of women, their babies and infants in the some of the most vulnerable populations around the world, in a wide variety of innovative ways.
The Directory of eHealth Policies is a comprehensive and up-to-date source of national eHealth policies or strategies sourced from around the globe created by the Global Observatory for eHealth. It also includes national policies relating to Telehealth to broaden its scope and usefulness. Member States are referring to this online resource when developing their eHealth policies or reviewing existing ones.
Global Observatory for eHealth
eHealth is the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health. It is recognised as one of the most rapidly growing areas in health today.
The Fifty-eighth World Health Assembly in May 2005, adopted Resolution WHA58.28 establishing an eHealth strategy for WHO. The resolution urged Member States to plan for appropriate eHealth services in their countries. That same year, WHO launched the Global Observatory for eHealth (GOe), an initiative dedicated to the study of eHealth—its evolution and impact on health in countries. The Observatory model combines WHO coordination regionally and at headquarters to monitor the development of eHealth worldwide, with an emphasis on individual countries. Recognizing that the field of eHealth is rapidly transforming the delivery of health services and systems around the world, WHO is playing a central role in shaping and monitoring its future, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
Mission and objectives
The Observatory’s mission is to improve health by providing Member States with strategic information and guidance on effective practices and standards in eHealth.
Its objectives are to:
- provide relevant, timely, and high-quality evidence and information to support national governments and international bodies in improving policy, practice, and management of eHealth;
- increase awareness and commitment of governments and the private sector to invest in, promote, and advance eHealth;
- generate knowledge that will significantly contribute to the improvement of health through the use of ICT; and
- disseminate research findings through publications on key eHealth research topics as a reference for governments and policy-makers.