Convergence Workshops

An MOH-led event to gather support from public and private sector stakeholders behind the National eHealth Strategy

How AeHIN can help:

  • Design the programme
  • Share templates
  • Invite resource persons
  • Facilitate sessions in actual workshop

Publication: Digital Health Convergence Meeting Toolkit

2015

Myanmar

Date: August 19 – 20, 2015 

Location: Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Title: Workshop on Health Information System (HIS) Strengthening in Myanmar

The Ministry of Health-Myanmar and AeHIN, in collaboration with the WHO, UNICEF, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and other development partners held a workshop on HIS Strengthening at the Horizon Lake View Resort Hotel. 

The workshop reviewed the current HIS status, priorities and barriers, and discussed steps towards developing and implementing a comprehensive country HIS. It engaged Myanmar government officials from Ministry of Health, University of Public Health, Central Statistical Organization, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and from organizations such as the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), and Marie Stopes International Myanmar.

Approximately 60 participants participated in both plenary sessions and brainstorming sessions. Four separate working groups based on eHealth components from WHO-ITU National eHealth Strategy Toolkit such as I) Strategy and Investment, II) Services and applications, Standards and Interoperability, Infrastructure, III) Legislation, policy and compliance and IV) Workforce were formed. The groups identified the gaps and made several recommendations on the related topics during the workshop. 

Workshop outcomes look to a promising eHealth for development in Myanmar, wherein country stakeholders recognize the significance of the holistic development of country eHealth/HIS. The Ministry of Health high-level administrators acknowledged the importance and supported the eHealth/HIS strengthening strategy. eHealth and HIS Blueprint, interoperability and health information standards were highlighted and recognized as the essential components of the country’s eHealth/HIS development.

2016

Bhutan

Date: June 21 – 23, 2016

Location: Paro, Bhutan

Title: Bhutan eHealth Action Plan Workshop Weaving Health and Happiness with ICT 

The Ministry of Health (Royal Government of Bhutan), AeHIN, United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), MEASURE Evaluation and other development partners co-organized the ‘Bhutan eHealth Action Plan Workshop: Weaving Health and Happiness with ICT’ with funding support from the World Health Organization (WHO). It was held at the Khangkhu Resort, Paro, Bhutan on 21-23 June 2016. 

It engaged Bhutanese government officials from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Communications, other relevant government organizations and eHealth solution providers such as Thoughtworks, RingMD, and MedCube. Altogether, approximately 70 participants participated in the three-day workshop and brainstorming sessions.

The groups were formed based on the eHealth components from WHO-ITU National eHealth Strategy Toolkit : I) Leadership and Governance, Strategy and Investment, II) Legislation, policy and compliance III) Infrastructure, Standards and Interoperability and Services and applications, IV) HIS and eHealth Workforce. During the workshop, participants identified challenges and proposed short-term and long-term action plans.

The workshop objectives were to review current and planned HIS and e-Health solutions, to identify priorities, key actions, and investments towards developing more cost-effective, sustainable, interoperable e-Health solutions and to sensitize stakeholders on the importance of e-Health governance, policy, enterprise architecture framework, standardization and interoperability, capacity development and program management, and how these relate to the national eHealth strategy.

The outcomes of the workshop included prioritization of activities within the seven National eHealth Components and the identification of Bhutan eHealth Strengthening Roadmap for the remaining five-year plan. These outcomes reaffirmed that eHealth is important for the realization of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the achievement of best health in the nation.

Indonesia

Date: November 7 – 11, 2016

Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Title: Joint Mission to Review Issues and Developing Action Plans for Strengthening HIS, eHealth and CRVS in Indonesia

2017

Vietnam

Date: February 15 – 17, 2017 

Location: Hanoi, Viet Nam

Title: Convergence Workshop to Strengthen Health Information System for Preventive Medicine in Viet Nam

The Ministry of Health Vietnam hosted a convergence workshop last February 13-15, 2017. Initiated by the General Department for Preventive Medicine, the workshop was supported by the Ministry of Health-Information Technology Department and other health departments of the Ministry of Health. 

As in previous convergence workshops facilitated by AeHIN in Myanmar, Bhutan, and Indonesia, participants appreciated the need to work together in order to manage the complex requirements of a comprehensive and effective national HIS. The Vietnam convergence workshop was made possible with support from WHO, ADB, UNICEF, and other partners.

Timor Leste

Date: April 24 – 28, 2017

Location: Dili, Timor Leste

Title: HIS, Digital Health, CRVS Technical Support Mission 

The WHO-South East Asia Regional Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Timor-Leste brought together a team of partners, including UNICEF and AeHIN, to support the Timor-Leste HIS, digital health, and CRVS. 

Two workshops were held during the team visit. One workshop focused on target-setting and action planning for monitoring and evaluation of health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 and other health-related SDG targets. The objectives were to understand the status of the national HIS and CRVS, review and discuss data quality improvement, data management, data analysis, data use for health policy and planning, HIS/CRVS implementation on achieving UHC and strengthening national health system, and interoperability and use of DHIS2 and related platforms.

The other workshop is a convergence meeting on HIS strengthening and eHealth investment planning. The workshop discussed the operationalization of the Health Management Information System (HMIS) National Strategic Plan and an overall HIS architecture, prioritizing activities for short and long-term implementation. The workshop also explored strengthening existing links between HIS and CRVS. The team identified the activities to be further strengthened, including the eHealth components from WHO-ITU National eHealth Strategy Toolkit, data management, data quality, data analysis, data use, and CRVS.

Nepal

Date: July 24 – 27, 2017 

Location: Kathmandu, Nepal

Title: Nepal National eHealth/Convergence Mission and eHealth Action Planning Workshop

The Ministry of Health (Government of Nepal), in collaboration with the WHO, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), AeHIN and other development partners organized an eHealth Convergence and Planning Workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal last July 24 to 27, 2017.

The workshop participants discussed the current and planned HIS and eHealth solutions of Nepal, including lessons learned and best practices of the country. eHealth governance, policy, enterprise architecture framework, standardization and interoperability and program management related to the National eHealth Strategy of Nepal were also tackled. The participants also identified priorities, key actions, and investments towards developing and managing more cost-effective, sustainable, and interoperable eHealth solutions to improve the health service delivery and strengthen health systems in the country. Stakeholders were brought together to optimize resources and adopt standards.

Nepalese government officials from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Communications, Department of Information Technology, Department of Civil Registration, National ID Management Center, Nepal Police, Institute of Medicine, and Kathmandu University attended the workshop. Partners such as WHO, GIZ, AeHIN, UNICEF, DFID, USAID, and UNFPA also took part in the event. Dr. Alvin Marcelo (Philippines), Dr. Fazilah Allaudin (Malaysia), Mr. Jai Ganesh (India) and Ms. Win Min Thit (Myanmar) of the AeHIN leadership also participated as resource persons in the event.

The eHealth components (Leadership and Governance, Strategy and Investment, Services and Application, Standards and Interoperability, Infrastructure, Legislation, Policy and Compliance, and Workforce) from the WHO-ITU National eHealth Strategy Toolkit and the AeHIN GAPS Framework (Government, Architecture, Program Management, and Standards and Interoperability) were presented in the workshop. The Nepal eHealth Roadmap and detailed action plans were also proposed during the event.

2018

Myanmar

Date: November 1-2, 2018 

Location: Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar

Title: Convergence Workshop for Developing Electronic Health Architecture (Blueprint)

2019

Bhutan

Date: October 28-29, 2019

Location: Thimphu, Bhutan

Title: 2nd Bhutan Convergence Workshop on Enterprise Architecture

AeHIN, together with the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences of Bhutan (KGUMSB), Bhutan Foundation and MIT Critical Data, co-organized the 2nd Convergence Workshop on Health Big Data and Enterprise Architecture held at the Royal University of Bhutan Auditorium last October 28-29, 2019. 

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.

A total of 121 participants composed of local and international participants from the medical and academic fields joined the conference. Bhutan Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tshering also graced the event. Dr Boonchai Kijsanayotin, Dr Alvin Marcelo, Ms Aye Aye Sein, and Dr Portia Marcelo from AeHIN attended the workshop.

Take-home messages from the convergence workshop are:

  1. Strengthen the Bhutan digital health governance by keeping regular meetings of the steering and technical working committees;
  2. Designate a clinical champion to represent the needs and perspectives of clinicians and health professionals in Bhutan;
  3. Leverage the enterprise architecture work being done by the DITT; 
  4. Use a gating system to decide on key investments for digital health; and
  5. Maintain a risk register and ensure that high impact ones are controlled.

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. 

More information about the activity is available through the AeHIN Bhutan Convergence Workshop at http://www.asiaehealthinformationnetwork.org/bhutan/

2020

Lao PDR

Date: March 30 – 31, 2020

Location: Vientiane, Lao PDR

Title: Digital Health Convergence Workshop Lao PDR

On March 30-31, 2020, AeHIN co-presented the first Digital Health Convergence Workshop in Lao PDR with lead organizers, Ministry of Health Lao PDR and ADB. The participants came from multidisciplinary healthcare sectors of Lao PDR. 

The strategy sessions of the workshop were anchored on AeHIN’s Mind the GAPS Framework.

Dr. Alvin Marcelo, Executive Director of AeHIN, introduced the participants to digital health governance.

Dr. Veronica Lugah from the Ministry of Health-Malaysia talked about program management from the Malaysian perspective, and shared the organization’s experiences in using the Public Sector ICT Project Management (PPrISA) methodology.

Dr. Boonchai Kijsanayotin, Chair of AeHIN, discussed standards and interoperability, specifically the HL7 FHIR framework, health information exchange, and standards application. Dr. Kijsanayotin also shared their country’s experiences in developing the digital health strategy of Thailand.

After the presentation, AeHIN led the facilitation of the strategy sessions to help the participants conceptualize their national digital health blueprint. In addition to the framework, AeHIN through Mr Jai Ganesh also discussed Electronic Medical Records as part of integral digital solutions for health.

The workshop outcomes included the (1) discussion of the creation of an overseeing governance structure within the Ministry of Health responsible to develop guidelines and requirements for digital health development and support all organizational units in their digital projects; (2) planning the development of standards and registries shared between health information systems; (3) agreement on the adoption of a unique Patient ID, based on the Ministry of Home Affairs ID, Ministry of Public Security ID or MoH home-grown; (4) involvement of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications into supporting the development of e-Government, technology, infrastructures, IT capacities within the Ministry of Health; and (5) improvement of the cooperation with other ministries: finance, data sharing, infrastructures, etc.

2021

Lao PDR

Date: December 3, 2021

Location: Vientiane, Lao PDR

Title: Stakeholders Engagement: Digital Health Priorities for 2022

The Lao PDR Ministry of Health’s Department of Planning and Cooperation (MoH DPC), with funding support from the Transform Health Association and technical support from the  AeHIN,  ADB, and WHO, organized an online international meeting, “Stakeholder Engagement – Digital Health Priorities for 2022” on December 3, 2021, during the Transform Health Digital Health Week 2021.

Dr. Chansaly Phommavong, Deputy Director of the DPC, Ministry of Health chaired the meeting. The content of the meeting was presented by Dr. Thepphouthone Sorsavanh, Head of the Health Information Division – DPC, Kevin Bilavarn, consultant for ADB, and Dilip Hensman, Technical Officer of WHO. The stakeholders invited to the meeting were composed of the health information steering committee, partner ministries, and development partners working in the health sector.

The conference aimed to introduce digital health key areas based on the recommendations from the previously conducted ‘Digital Health Convergence Workshop’ and to initiate stakeholder engagement which could then be followed up by the digital health steering committee throughout 2022. Some of the current key digital health initiatives were also presented along with a listing of stakeholders supporting them.

In the conference, MoH DPC identified seven clear prioritized areas for action in 2022, namely (1) digital health strategy, (2) governance, (3) project management, (4) standards, (5) enterprise architecture, (6) eGovernment), and (7) ICT workforce. These digital health prioritized areas would help the MoH lay down the foundations for sustainable digital health developments in the long term. In the conference, the MoH DPC also sought stakeholder commitment for each of the identified priorities.

2022

Sri Lanka

Date: December 22-23, 2022

Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Title: Convergence Workshop on Digital Health Governance: Sri Lankan Perspective

The Sri Lanka College of Health Informatics (SLCHI), Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka (HISSL), and the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka (MoHSL) in collaboration with AeHIN, held a hybrid digital health convergence workshop titled, ‘Convergence Workshop on Digital Health Governance: Sri Lankan Perspective’ on December 22-23, 2022 at the Marino Beach Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka. A total of 144 participants attended the workshop. 

In particular, AeHIN provided an overview of implementing convergence workshops (Mr. Jai Ganesh Udayasankaran) and shared digital health governance models based on a study in Thailand (Dr. Boonchai Kijsanayotin). 

The strategic plan for digital health in Sri Lanka began by the establishment of the National eHealth Steering Committee with the four Technical Working Groups. The committee has also developed National Policy on Health Information and Strategic Plan and National eHealth Standards and Guidelines which enabled the governance of eHealth of Sri Lanka.  

Sri Lanka has laid the groundwork for implementations of digital health. The process will benefit from the development and adoption of robust governance frameworks and policies to ensure that such implementations are sustainable. 

Practice of digital health encompasses core subject areas of health, ICT, and information science and also inherently cuts across many constituent sub-domains. Therefore, wider stakeholder engagement and commitment to priorities by all is very important in the charting of a way forward for Sri Lanka’s Digital Health, which formed the aim of this workshop.

The workshop outcomes concluded the following:

  • For IT governance, people, process and infrastructure were the main components or key elements identified to support the overall IT governance roadmap.
  • For information governance, one of the main recommendations was to establish an information governance committee to implement the information governance in the health sector. Maturity assessment and the staff awareness program shall be started initially to understand the current situation and initiate the organizational change.
  • For data governance, workshop participants had a general consensus on most of the core elements of the eight health data governance principles. The results were analyzed to gain inputs for the deliberations leading to the initiation of a Data Governance framework for the Healthcare Sector of Sri Lanka.  

2023

Indonesia

Date: January 24, 2023

Location: Jakarta, Indonesia

Title: Indonesia Mini Convergence Workshop

The Center for Health Policy and Management (CHPM) of Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Indonesia and AeHIN, held a hybrid digital health convergence workshop titled, ‘Indonesia Mini-Convergence Workshop’ on January 24, 2023 at the Wyndham Casablanca Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia. The AeHIN Governing Committee served as face-to-face moderators of specific sessions in the workshop. A total of 76 participants joined the workshop.

The Indonesian Ministry of Health has made significant progress in supporting health development through implementing digital transformation. Strengthening previous ehealth development steps, in 2021 the Ministry of Health launched a digital transformation blueprint in the health sector, which was then followed by the launch of the SatuSehat platform to integrate health data. This effort is also supported by the issuance of a regulation that requires all healthcare facilities to implement electronic medical records by the end of 2023.

The workshop aimed to support digital transformation programs in the health sector. This digital transformation effort in the health sector requires support and collaboration from various parties, which include local governments, the health industry, health service facilities, academia and various development partners. In order to improve the digital transformation process, it is also important to study the experiences of various other countries, especially in the Asian region, which are also struggling to develop digital health. 

As the main workshop outcome, representatives from the Ministry of Health Indonesia’s Pusat Data dan Informasi (Pusdatin) and Digital Transformation Office (DTO), especially the SATUSEHAT Technical Working Group, shared the digital health landscape in Indonesia and deep dived the SATUSEHAT using the Mind the GAPS Framework of AeHIN.

2024

Philippines

Date: March 6-8, 2024

Location: Makati, Philippines

Title: Philippine Digital Health Summit

Through the support of AeHIN and UNICEF Philippines, the DOH-led Philippine Digital Health Summit Planning Workshop held on February 22, 2024 provided a brief overview of the Philippine Digital Health Strategy 2024–2028 as it relates to the DOH 8-Point Action Agenda and the 8 Priority Programs and introduced the participants to the ways of working in preparation for the actual summit. Through this program, key stakeholders were able to finalize the program for the Philippine Digital Health Summit.

Anchored on the strategic objective of Teknolohiya para sa mabilis na serbisyong pangkalusugan (Technology for efficient health service delivery), the Philippine Digital Health Summit, previously the Philippine Digital Convergence Workshop, shall align the goals of national government agencies, developmental partners, and other stakeholders in implementing digital health initiatives that are anchored on the DOH 8-point Action Agenda and Strategic Focus toward improving the efficiency, effectiveness, and accessibility of healthcare services in the Philippines.

Livestream: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

Mongolia

Date: April 8-9, 2024

Location: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

Title: Mongolia “State Productivity Recovery – Digital Health” Convergence Workshop

Organizers: Ministry of Digital Development and Communications (MDDC), Ministry of Health (MOH), UNICEF Mongolia, and Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN)

Website: https://digitalhealth.gov.mn/