The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today launched its first guide to investing in digital health information systems for those working in the Pacific health sector.
The Digital Health Implementation Guide for the Pacific sets out a clear pathway for countries seeking to implement and invest in digital health. The primary audiences for the user-friendly guide are Pacific health managers and those working in information and communication technology in the health sector.
“The Digital Health Implementation Guide is a concise playbook for governments and health teams adopting digital technology within healthcare settings,” said ADB Health Specialist Inez Mikkelsen-Lopez. “It has been developed with extensive contributions from practitioners, government staff, and development partners in the Pacific health sector.”
The publication aims to guide decision makers in thinking about the digital health investment process and supporting health specialists in investment decisions and their implementation. The guide presents ADB analysis and recommendations and is supported by best practice case studies from Pacific countries that have already invested in digital health.
Digital technology is a key element of making universal health coverage in the Pacific a reality and can help the health sector strengthen leadership and governance, develop capacity, improve efficiency, and collaborate at a regional level. Presently, Pacific countries face a number of challenges in implementing digital health, particularly the process of digitising health information records and in using data for decision making at all levels of the health system. However, as the Pacific region becomes more connected with submarine fiber optic cables, the potential for public good from investments in digital health is increasing.