Date publishedAuthor Name
HIFA2015-Espanol (6) The challenge of HIFA2015 in multiple languagesFriday, December 11, 2009Juan Bru

In the future, Medical Informatics, Semantic Interoperability and related knowledge will allow translating between different languages any clinical text, so we would write and receive mails in our mother language in forums like HIFA2015. But this is not possible at the moment. Despite the efforts of medical informatics researchers and companies, by now, there are no tools to do that. And there will not be in the following 5 years, at least... Pointed targets "(1) how to harmonize and facilitate communication between the HIFA2015-English and HIFA2015-Portuguese communities (although we have many bilingual members in both communities) and (2) how to harness the experience and expertise of multiple languages in a readily usable form (HIFA2015 Knowledge Base)" won't be easy to accomplish. Other forums and knowledge databases failed in this before. How many people are adding HIFA-pt? How many of 400 HIFA-pt members are proficient in English? How many people are subtracting HIFA-pt from HIFA-English? Are we going to add more people, searching for people proficient in English for the strong HIFA-English forum or creating new weak forums in other languages which are going to make HIFA-English weaker? Are these forums going to succeed and stay as HIFA-English? At the end, are we sure that adding languages is reinforcing HIFA? These questions and others like this have to be carefully analyzed. So promoting HIFA2015-English as much as possible, forgetting other languages, is an option that should be also, carefully analyzed.

Harmonisation and alignment of the e-Health architectureThursday, May 21, 2009Jim Campbell

I´d like to raise an issue which follows on from several posts on the subject titles of 'CD-ROMs' and 'Internet Access and Mobile Phones' including those from Chris Zielinski on e-health, p-health and m-health, Joseph Ana and Regina Ungerer amongst others. And my thanks to Dykki Settle of the USAID Capacity Project for his thoughts on this topic outside of the shared postings. Much as there has been increasing agreement on the 'Harmonisation and Alignment of the Aid Architecture for Health' (Paris/Accra etc) there is an increasing need to raise the discourse on the 'Harmonisation and Alignment of the e-Health Architecture'.

If we are, collectively, to support the health information needs of health workers and enable the many thousands of decisions taken on a daily basis in health services, systems, policy and planning the content of the tools, hardware and software has to be complementary and fit for purpose.

Similar to the increase of health financing through vertical, disease-focused initiatives there is an expansion of e-health systems, platforms and solutions on the back of the technology revolution and fueled by vertical funds for health management information systems, human resource information systems, professional registers, online distance learning, telemedicine etc, etc. Many of these vertical initiatives may well perform to their initial technical specification but could be failing to maximise their potential added value if they were fully aligned and integrated with other e-health solutions and paper-based reporting systems. For instance, do country systems (electronic and paper) agree on a unique identification number for each and every health student/health worker from the moment they enter as a student/employee to the time they retire / resign / relocate to a different country?

In advance of the Italian G8 and the evidence resulting from WHO's workstream on 'Maximising Positive Synergies between Health Systems and Global Health Initiatives' I hope that the HIFA community can further raise the debate and discussion for the 'Harmonisation and Alignment of the e-Health Architecture'.