Professional Development

WHO and HIMSS Held Workshop for European Countries on Digital Health Transformation

Doctors and nurses discussing digital tablet

Paving a new, harmonized approach to the digital transformation of health systems in Europe and beyond, the World Health Organization European Regional Office and HIMSS jointly held a workshop for European countries at the European Health Conference & Exhibition on June 7 in Lisbon, Portugal. 

WHO/Europe and HIMSS coached representatives from member countries in a session. They discussed how to design country-level action plans with measurable outcomes and identify current strategic assets to advance digital health. WHO/Europe and HIMSS last year cosigned a landmark Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on this goal. The workshop was a follow-up to an introductory virtual workshop held on May 24. 

“The workshop has helped identify where the countries are on their digital health journey — whether they’re brand new to it, they’re in the middle of it, or are very advanced,” said Tom Leary, HIMSS Senior Vice President and Head of Government Relations. “We can help them identify the market suppliers and who they can talk to, these nuance issues, to get them the absolute highest level that they can achieve, given the resources each nation has.”  

WHO echoed the sentiment. “This workshop has been useful to take stock of the progress achieved so far by these countries, but also have an open discussion on the challenges ahead of us,” said David Novillo Ortiz, Ph.D., regional adviser on Digital Health at WHO/Europe. “We need to be more open about how we address weak points in our shared efforts to integrate digital tools into healthcare, mainly related to better monitoring of digital health for policy decision-making and ensuring that we use digital solutions without leaving anyone one behind.” 

The WHO/Europe and HIMSS MoU supports implementing the regional digital health action plan for the WHO European Region 2023-2030 that was endorsed by WHO/Europe Member States last September. WHO/Europe and HIMSS have co-designed a Senior Health Leaders Orientation Programme for Digital Health, a series of three new and innovative workshops to build knowledge and capacity for developing and managing national data and digital health ecosystems.  

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