Photo from the University of the Philippines Manila Standards and Interoperability Lab (UPM SILab)

Manila, Philippines – The University of the Philippines Manila – National Telehealth Center (UPM-NTHC), in cooperation with Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) and different institutions1, convened 130 health data governance and management advocates for the Philippine Datathon 2023 from September 29 to October 1, 2023, at the De La Salle University to explore the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) within the health sector’s universal health care (UHC) initiative. It was the third in a series following previous conferences, such as Big Data Philippines in 2017 and 2018. The event utilized a dynamic approach incorporating lectures, panels, workshops, and a competition (datathon) to foster active participation and collaboration among attendees. 

In the datathon, Dr. Alvin Marcelo introduced the Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN), detailing its mission to enhance the interoperable digital health ecosystem for improved health in

Asia through networking, resource sharing, and knowledge exchange. Established in 2011, AeHIN has supported capacity building in digital health through activities such as conferences, training, and online resources. The presentation highlights AeHIN’s focus on Governance, Architecture, People and Program management, and Standards and Interoperability (GAPS) to address digital health challenges and promote effective health data management and interoperability. He then enumerated various AI initiatives in the ASEAN region.

The datathon successfully cultivated a network of institutions and individuals committed to advancing data governance and management. Critical discussions surfaced recurring challenges and ethical considerations necessary for the responsible use of AI in healthcare. 

In conclusion, it underscored the critical role of a united community in driving forward the ethical application of AI in healthcare. It highlighted the necessity for ongoing dialogue to demystify AI’s complexities and leverage its potential responsibly. It set the stage for future collaborations to enhance public health outcomes through innovative data-driven approaches, reinforcing the imperative for ethical consideration and community engagement in the evolving landscape of health data management and AI.

This project was supported by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation via Digital Square at PATH.


1List of other organizing institutions:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology Critical Data (MIT Critical Data)
  • Ateneo de Manila University-Institute for Philippine Culture (ADMU-IPC)
  • Cancer CARE Registry and Research Philippines Foundation (CARE PH)
  • Center for Informatics of the University of San Agustin
  • De La Salle University – Dr. Andrew L. Tan Data Science Institute
  • UP Diliman – Department of Computer Science (UPD – DCS)
  • UP Manila – Standards and Interoperability Lab (UPM-SILab)