Statement by India at the 142nd Session of the Executive Board (EB) of the World Health Organization (22nd to 27th January 2018) on Agenda item 4.4: mHealth, delivered by Sh. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. [WHO HQ, Geneva, 27th January 2018]

Statement by India at the 142nd Session of the Executive Board (EB) of the World Health Organization (22nd to 27th January 2018) on Agenda item 4.4mHealth, delivered by Sh. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. [WHO HQ, Geneva, 27th January 2018]

Thank you Mr. Chair

India would like to thank the WHO Secretariat for incorporating the subject of mHealth in the Agenda. We would like to thank all Member States particularly Philippines, Brazil and Thailand for their support to India in bringing mHealth for formal discussions at the WHO governing bodies.

Mr. Chair

2. India is embarking on an ambitious digital health agenda in 2018. In March, India will systematically implement a nation-wide near real-time integrated public health surveillance to monitor prioritized health conditions of over 1 billion citizens. We also thank WHO for their assistance in this regard.

3. For public health emergency response readiness, India is implementing an innovative, geo-tagged disease-specific person-level data combined with context specific earth observation and GIS data.

4. In addition, India is working towards providing access to portable electronic medical records to all citizens using unique identifiers and informatics standards for interoperability.

5. India greatly values the scope of mHealth as part of the larger Digital Health Ecosystem and recognize its potential towards achieving the SDG goal 3.8 on increasing access to quality health services.

6. However, India notes that mHealth is just a subset of broader digital health efforts of India.India requests the Secretariat to produce a supplemental and separate document for WHA that clearly articulates the Digital Technologies with specific references to all aspects of health information systems, innovative electronic medical devices, diagnostic equipment and ensure that all terminologies are clearly defined. India proposes WHO to develop a Global Strategy on Digital Health which will mainstream digital health in the SDG Agenda.

Mr. Chair

India has initiated a Member States driven process in order to arrive at a consensus resolution on use of appropriate digital technologies for public health. We are hopeful that Member States will join our endeavour by providing constructive inputs, which will help in maturing the text of a resolution on digital health.

Thank You.

 
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