PS4-1 : Building interoperable and cost effective ICT systems for health in low and middle income settings


Improving the quality of health services presents a considerable challenge due to the different and wide-reaching components of a health system, and the complex processes required to “produce” sustainable health services. Public services and industry rely increasingly on informatics solutions to cope with this complexity and to provide cost-efficient solutions. The transformation of health services due to ‘digitalisation’ is not only found in high-income settings. During the MDG era, ICT solutions multiplied and showed their potential to transform health systems and facilitate improvements in population health. Multiple health informatics solutions have already started to proliferate in low and middle income countries. However, experience and studies show that countries cannot always benefit fully from ‘eHealth’ solutions due to the prevalence of problems related to the integration and use of informatics applications.

Countries with severe resources constraints need to be especially aware of the specific challenges that the adoption of informatics solutions can bring with them. Typical areas of attention lie in the build-up of informatics infrastructure and related human resources. A special area of expertise required for the operation of cost efficient eHealth applications relates to the introduction of various standards and the issue of ‘interoperability’. The existence of separate, ‘vertical’ informatics systems that are not able to communicate with one another means a loss with regards to the objective of a utility (benefit) driven, cost efficient informatics support to health systems.

The session will shed light on a number of innovative ICT solutions used by health authorities, care providers and insurance schemes. Particular emphasis will be placed on efforts to increase interoperability of the different solutions as well as on policy options to foster comprehensive, coherent and cost-effective ICT systems for health.



  • Sensitizing the audience for the need to establish and ensure informatics solutions that are capable to interact with each other.
  • Providing case studies that illustrate the need for more adapted informatics solutions, for provisions enabling the interaction of systems and discerning success factors of cost instituting and operating beneficial eHealth applications.



Bhattarai SauravChairmanGIZGermany
Prytherch HelenIntroduction / welcomeSwiss TPHSwitzerland
Alvin Marcello Country PresentationUniversity of the Philippines ManilaPhilippines
Denjoy NicoleInput from private sector (DITTA)DITTABelgium
Latifov MurodCountry PresentationInformation Technology ExpertTajikistan
Vanobberghen AlexandreOpenIMISSwiss TPHTanzania



PS : Parallel session PS-1 : Health system