Big data has been the buzzword in the digital world. Many sources point to the potential of curbing the problems of public health with big data. Yet for most developing countries, big data is still poorly understood and citizens are at a loss as to how they can harness its benefits for health. The United Nations approved the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and many of the goals require the ability to process large volumes of data to monitor progress. Big data will be an important tool in achieving and sustaining the SDGs.
The Asia eHealth Information Network with support from WHO and development partners has been supporting Ministries of Health in Asia by helping them govern and manage their national eHealth system (including big data). Called Convergence Workshops, these events aim to establish MOH’s role as the leader of the national eHealth programme and at the same time, gather various players working on eHealth behind the MOH agenda. The word “convergence” was specially selected to show how all stakeholders consolidate and support the MOH eHealth strategy.