Working Party on e-Health annual report

Pramendra Prasad Gupta, chair of the Working Party on e-Health reports:

The aim of the working party is to identify the needs of patients and professionals to ensure relevant patient-focused information and health IT tools are available to all.

Our objectives are to use advanced innovative technology to create personalized eHealth services which contribute to sustainable, efficient and effective healthcare for all, especially those with chronic conditions. We also aim to identify appropriate technology to support health care providers in decision making, using holistic monitoring strategies combined with advanced technology to support high quality and efficient patient care, using health IT and secure data exchange.

We welcomed 16 new members to the Working Party this year and are developing a governance structure for the group. We currently have representatives from WONCA EMR region, Africa region and Europe region and would encourage interested members from other regions to join us.

As Chair of the Working Party on e-Health I presented at the WONCA Europe Open Meeting ‘Primary care at a digital crossroads’ during the WONCA Europe Conference. Other presenters included: Clayton Hamilton from WHO, Nick Guldemond, Radeslov Herda, Anna Stavdal, and Andree Rochefort. The meeting was moderated by Harris Lygidakis. The key message which came from this open meeting was that we should ask how digital health affects the core values of Family Medicine. Key points from the discussion included Digital Competencies, eHealth literacy, the patients’ needs, the stakeholder's role and how to regulate the industry. There was enthusiastic discussion throughout.

Also at the WONCA Europe Conference 2019 we conducted workshop on Benefits of eHealth and Telemedicine in resource constrained low- and middle-income countries. I made a presentation and other presenters included Harris Lygdakis and Illka Kunnamo. I also participated in an EQuiP workshop on confidentiality in electronic medical records and a workshop of WONCA Working Party on Ethics.

The WONCA Europe conference was used as an opportunity for the Working Party on e-Health to hold a face to face meeting where we made plans to develop guidelines for electronic medical records, prepare a toolkit for eHealth which will be available on the WONCA website for members to consult. Discussions are underway to establish a webinar on eHealth which could be made available from the WONCA Website.

During the WONCA Africa conference a workshop on ICT was held, organized by Shabir Moosa. The workshop was attended by Harris Lygidakis and Karen Kinder (consultant to WHO). These collaborations will help to build future relationships with other eHealth associations.

The Working Party on e-Health continues to improve engagement with WHO in other regions. We are also developing an advisory statement on reducing the risk of cyber attacks on electronic health records.

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