[SAmHealth] WHO digital health recommendations and SA (2)

20 April, 2019

Thank you for the excellent input from South Africa. I haven’t had the opportunity to go through the “digital strategy” of WHO and comment, which I will do but it looks like “digital health” is seen as synonym of “mobile health”. It is not. Mobile health is a subset eHealth or digital health. It would be important to recognize that eHealth or digital health or mobile health is in all cases is enabler and never a replacement of a health or medical service. The moment these and/or derivations/equivalents replace health services then it’s a total failure from health systems point of view. It can be called something else. The 7 of the 10 WHO recommendations, as indicated below, have the word “mobile” appearing in the heading, while I would assume that the other 3 recommendations are mobile based. This simply means it’s a mobile health and not digital health strategy.

Best regards.

Najeeb Al-Shorbaji, PhD, FIAHSI

President of the eHealth Development Association of Jordan,

Independent Consultant in Knowledge Management and eHealth,

e-Marefa Advisor

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Amman 11937


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HIFA Profile: Najeeb Al-Shorbaji recently retired from the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked since 1988 in different capacities. He was most recently Director of the Knowledge, Ethics and Research Department at WHO headquarters, Geneva. Previously he was Coordinator for Knowledge Management and Sharing in EMRO (Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office), Egypt. He is a member of a number of national and international professional societies and associations specialised in information management and health informatics. He has authored over 100 research papers and articles presented in various conferences and published in professional journals. He is a member of the HIFA Steering Group.



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