To promote the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health, and thereby foster universal access to health in the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has carried out a series of projects and initiatives. In September 2011, the 51st Directing Council of PAHO/WHO endorsed a strategy urging the Organization to work to improve health service accessibility and quality through the use of ICTs (Strategy and Plan of action on eHealth).

PAHO/WHO’s work in eHealth has focused on seven areas:

  • Governance. Coordination instruments for eHealth topics at a regional and global level.
     
  • National eHealth Strategies. KBR’s primary mandate in eHealth is the development of national strategies.
     
  • Standards & Interoperability. The term “interoperability” refers to communication between different technologies and software applications for the efficient, accurate, sound sharing and use of data.
     
  • Electronic Health Records. A real-time longitudinal electronic record of an individual patient’s health information that can assist health professionals with decision-making and treatment.
     
  • Telehealth. This involves the delivery of health services using ICTs, specifically where distance is a barrier to health care.
     
  • mHealth. A term for medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, and other wireless devices.
     
  • Digital Literacy. Digital literacy is the set of skills, knowledge, and attitudes that a person needs in order to develop functionally within the Information Society.