The Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN), together with its co-hosts, Kementerian Kesehatan or Ministry of Health (MoH) Indonesia and Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Kesehatan (BPJS -K), the Social Security Agency on Health Indonesia, held its AeHIN General Meeting (GM) 2023 with the theme “Ensuring Digital Health for Better Outcomes: Putting Blueprints into Practice” from November 6 to 9, 2023, at  JS Luwansa Hotel and Convention Center, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The event was supported by The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, UNICEF, Digital Square at PATH, openIMIS Initiative, GIZ, Fondation Pierre Fabre, Joint Learning Network, World Bank, The Global Fund, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Task Force for Global Health, Transform Health, Country Health Information Systems and Data Use, and USAID supported the event.

Over 500 attendees representing the government, academe, development partners, civil society, professional societies, and regional networks from 43 countries within and outside the South and Southeast Asia region participated. The AeHIN GM 2023 provided a great opportunity and platform for all stakeholders in the digital health ecosystem to come together and collaborate towards strengthening the health system. As digital health gains more importance in the post-pandemic era, countries must work together and learn from each other’s experiences to ensure efficient and effective healthcare delivery.

The three-day digital health event began with parallel sessions during the pre-conference, followed by two days of multiple panel sessions and country dialogues, including an interoperability demonstration and marketplace. On the last day, delegates visited the Digital Transformation Office (DTO) of the MOH and the BPJS-K to see digital health in action in Indonesia.

On Pre-conference day, organizations namely, USAID CHISU, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) through the Growing eHealth Expertise Knowledge and Skills (GEEKS Program), the World Health Organization (WHO), BPJS-K, GIZ, the Joint Learning Network (JLN) and the World Bank, as well as the DTO with Tony Blair Institute (TBI) organized pre-conference sessions about their respective digital health efforts. The day ended with a plenary on Health Data Governance, which AeHIN advocates for with Transform Health.

The AeHIN GM 2023 was officiated by the Minister of Health, Bapak Budi G. Sadikin, with a visionary speech about emulating the efficiency of the finance sector in the health sector through data exchange and standardization and the steps they took to improve the health sector in Indonesia through standards and digital health. Key local officials Dr. Ali Ghufron Mukti from BPJS-K and Pak Setiaji of the DTO also attended the GM. 

The first day started with dialogues among countries from the Western Pacific, South, and South-East Asia. Partners also participated in the partners’ session, sharing their different portfolios and ways to support countries in their digital health programs. The first day concluded on a high note with a cultural dinner hosted by BPJS-K, showcasing the colorful culture of Indonesia.

The last day began with the interoperability demonstration led by the AeHIN Community of Interoperability Labs (COIL), showing a skit with live actors, depicting the importance of interoperability as a foundation to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The Marketplace, also a popular and busy session during AeHIN GMs, made a successful comeback with 34 booth presenters–the most booths in all GMs to date.

The afternoon sessions started with the pre-launch of the Digital Health Convergence Toolkit, a project that AeHIN, UNICEF, and PATH are working on to provide updates on the first published toolkit in 2018. The Digital Health GAPS White Paper, based on AeHIN’s Mind the GAPS advocacy, which offers action steps for governments in their national digital health journey, was also launched on the last day. Country experiences from India, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and Thailand were shared by the AeHIN Working Council (WC).

Towards the end of the conference, Setiaji, Chief of the Digital Transformation Office at MoH, and Ir Edwin Aristiawan, Director of IT BPJS-K, announced Indonesia’s Statement on Digital Health, acknowledging the transformative power of digital health.

The three-day AeHIN GM ended with an inspiring closing keynote by Prof. Alain Labrique, Director of the Department of Digital Health and Innovation at the World Health Organization. Prof. Labrique shared that during the conference, everyone spoke about architecture, governance, digital public infrastructure, policy, interoperability, SMART guidelines, but it must be remembered that none of these matter without people and that people should be at the center of it all. “We are the people in this room who have to remember this every single day: Your work is not theoretical; it is not architectural. It’s about protecting health and saving lives. And I could not be prouder than to share this mission alongside each one of you,” he concluded.

AeHIN GM 2023 Resources:

AeHIN GM on Indonesian news: