NEW YORK, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Accelerating innovative applications
of emerging digital technologies to improve the health of poor and
vulnerable people around the world -- a field known as eHealth -- will be
the main topic of a major international conference hosted by the
Rockefeller Foundation. The conference, Making the eHealth Connection:
Global Partnerships, Local Solutions, will take place from July 13 to
August 8, 2008.
Working with twelve leading organizations from the fields of global
health, international development, and information and communications
technology (ICT), the Rockefeller Foundation and its partners will bring
together luminaries from industry, government, and civil society as well as
donors and researchers at its Bellagio Center in Italy. The action-oriented
agenda will focus on how deploying eHealth and ICT in health systems can
improve the access, efficiency and quality of health services. Importantly,
the conference focus is on the Global South-developing countries-where
health infrastructure and capacity challenges loom large and eHealth
technology, a lynchpin in modern health care systems, is at a tipping
point. The conference will set the stage for long-term sustainable
collaboration in the eHealth field.
"The emerging field of eHealth seeks to harness the power of ICT to
strengthen health systems and help billions of people access affordable
health care," said Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation.
"We believe that Making the eHealth Connection, this summer's conference at
the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, can dramatically advance
efforts to meet this critical challenge by building the necessary
coalitions and resources."
Participants at the month-long Making the eHealth Connection conference
will engage in intense high-level discussions that aim to advance learning
on new solutions, needed breakthroughs and scaling current barriers.
Critical eHealth issues will be discussed in eight targeted conference
sessions: The Path to Interoperability, Public Health Informatics and
National Health Information systems, Access to Information and
Knowledge-sharing, Capacity building for eHealth, Electronic Health
Records, Mobile Health (mHealth) and Mobile Telemedicine, National eHealth
Policies and Unlocking eHealth Markets.
Two parallel sessions will take place each week, from July 13 to August
8, 2008. The overarching goal of the conference is to develop support for
workable solutions and to give new impetus for collaboratively funding,
designing and deploying eHealth systems in the Global South and around the
The Rockefeller Foundation has partnered with a number of leading
institutions in order to organize the conference, including the American
Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), International Medical Informatics
Association (IMIA), Health Level Seven (HL7), Health Metrics Network (HMN),
Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information
(BIREME), Partners in Health (PIH), Regenstrief Institute, Telemedicine
Society of India, United Nations Foundation (UNF), Vodafone Group
Foundation Technology Partnership, University of Washington's Center for
Public Health Informatics, and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Tim Evans, MD, Assistant Director-General for Information, Evidence and
Research at the World Health Organization (WHO), and a Making the eHealth
Connection summer conference series organizer, said, "This event is an
important landmark. It shows global commitment to eHealth's role in health
systems, underscoring the World Health Assembly resolution on eHealth in
2005, and is intended to support WHO's efforts to promote equitable access
to essential care worldwide."
Professor Krishnan Ganapathy, Founder Member and Joint Secretary of the
Telemedicine Society of India, and one of the conference organizers, said,
"The conference's focus on the nexus of eHealth and the Global South is
notable. Given the rapid spread of mobile communications technologies, this
conference should provide timely information to and learnings from several
countries in the Global South, such as India, that have committed resources
to developing and deploying eHealth technology, and are interested in
learning how mobile technology and telemedicine are converging. Developing
countries can now leap frog, not even piggy back. We hope this will
illuminate a path for others to follow."
"This effort comes at a critical moment," said Don E. Detmer, MD, MA,
President and CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA),
and a conference organizer with the collaboration of the International
Medical Informatics Association (IMIA). "As a long-time proponent of
eHealth and informatics for improving care for patients and populations,
this initiative offers a rare opportunity for us to share perspectives as
we seek to integrate a set of complex requirements so that coordinated
progress can occur across borders. We must effectively address our shared
global health disease, capacity-building, and workforce challenges, most
especially in the Global South. AMIA is delighted to be working with the
Rockefeller Foundation on this sound initiative to bridge a significant
global leadership gap."
Making the eHealth Connection underscores the Rockefeller Foundation's
commitment to unleashing human capacity and technological innovation to
benefit poor and vulnerable people around the world. The conference extends
the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center's tradition of bringing together
people of diverse expertise and cultures in a neutral and thought-provoking
environment to promote international understanding and encourage innovation
For more information on the Rockefeller Foundation's Making the eHealth
Connection conference organizers, schedules and topics please visit the
eHealth Connection at http://www.ehealth-connection.org. This interactive
website -- a window into groundbreaking discussions and developments --
contains vital conference information. During the conference, the website
will feature frequent blog posts about conference proceedings, video clips
and interviews with key event organizers and participants.
The Rockefeller Foundation was established in 1913 by John D.
Rockefeller, Sr., to "promote the well-being" of humanity by addressing the
root causes of serious problems. With assets of more than $4 billion, the
Foundation supports work around the world to expand opportunities for poor
or vulnerable people and to help ensure that globalization's benefits are
more widely shared.
For more information about the Rockefeller Foundation, please visit The
Rockefeller Foundation at www.rockfound.org .
SOURCE The Rockefeller Foundation