Asia-Pacific Government Roundtable on Interoperability Report

A provider discusses a treatment plan with their patient.

Interoperability was featured as the main topic of discussion at a Sept. 30, 2021, virtual government roundtable. Specifically, the role it plays in health systems’ digital transformations.

Representatives of central and regional digital health and health IT authorities from nine Asia-Pacific countries attended the roundtable. These countries included Bhutan, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Pakistan and the Philippines. As the session was held under the Chatham House Rule, the identities of participants quoted in this report will remain anonymous.

HIMSS published a report featuring highlights from this interoperability roundtable. Some of the key takeaways include:

  • Interoperability is a key lever for digitally transforming health systems toward more agile and patient-centered delivery of health services, but the U.S. experience serves as a cautionary tale.
  • Technical standards, education and implementation guides are essential necessities for countries’ interoperability journeys.
  • Measuring progress toward digital transformation is a way to pinpoint health organizations’ strengths and opportunities for improvement.
  • Patient data privacy is a top priority but may have unintended consequences.
  • Having an interoperability implementation roadmap and measurement tools do not rule out a bumpy ride, where cultural context and political considerations sometimes create barriers.