AeHIN launched its Governance, Architecture, People and Program Management, and Standards and Interoperability (GAPS) whitepaper entitled, a ‘Call to Action for Strengthening the Digital Health Ecosystem in Asia’, at the recent AeHIN General Meeting (GM) on November 8, 2023, in JS Luwansa, Jakarta, Indonesia  – a regional digital health event which convened over 500 participants representing the government, academe, development partners, civil society, professional societies, and digital health networks within and beyond South and South-East Asia.

The white paper is an output of the GAPS writeshop participated in by AeHIN Working Council (WC) members on 14-15 May 2023 at the National Institutes of Health, Institute for Clinical Research, Ministry of Health in Selangor, Malaysia.

The white paper aims to:

  • encourage impact-oriented actions to improve digital health strategy design implementation to propel overall digital health maturity;
  • harmonize the digital health ecosystem with the country’s overall digital economy;
  • ensure accountability for actions and build capacity and ownership among accountable people; and
  • promote multi-stakeholder coordination to on-board health and non-health stakeholders, as well as private, academic, and NGO sectors, including international development partners

Based on AeHIN’s GAPS framework, the white paper summarizes five main calls to action on digital health:

  1. Governance: Institutionalize a sustainable, inclusive, resilient, and collaborative digital health governance mechanism.
  2. Architecture: Implement an integrated and standardized digital health blueprint that is aligned with national health and digital vision and strategies.
  3. Program Management: Establish a digital health transformation collaboration office.
  4. People: Advocate for and implement measures to improve digital health literacy and the use of digital health products and applications by families and communities.
  5. Standards and Interoperability: Achieve interoperability by adopting standards.

Each call to action has high-impact action items and activity steps to guide implementation. It is important to standardize and emphasize the importance of key known aspects. 

Countries may implement each call to action, no matter their level of digital health maturity and despite current and future digital health initiatives. They are also free to modify and adapt the white paper based on their current situation and emerging needs.

During the AeHIN GM, Dr. Senthil Padmanaban presented the whitepaper. It was followed by the seven case studies from different countries, namely:

    1. Improving Healthcare Through Electronic Prescription Management in Mongolia
    2. Digital Health Governance mechanism to support country’s health systems: Thailand
    3. SIL-Taiwan Taiwan‘s Next-Generation Medical Information Platform – Bridging G-A-P-S in Healthcare Infrastructure
    4. MSc In Biomedical Informatics and MD Health Informatics Leading To Board Certification In Health Informatics As A Specialist Sri Lanka’s Unique Model Of Creating Digital Health Leaders
    5. Department of Health Philippines: GAPS Paper Presentation
    6. Ministry of Health Malaysia: Health Information Exchange Interoperability
    7. Adopting International Standards: Challenges and Strategies for Success (India)

AeHIN invites countries to collaborate with the network on custom-developing and implementing target-oriented digital health strategies and actions. Download the AeHIN GAPS white paper here.