A new publication by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), titled eHealth Conversations”, provides decision makers with strategic information on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for health in the Americas.The publication was developed as a result of an eHealth initiative that called on professionals to brainstorm, discuss and reflect on the present and future of the use and application of ICTs in the Region.

eHealth Conversations represents a step forward for PAHO’s Strategy and Plan of action on eHealth, a sit explores ways to implement regional mechanisms for free and equitable access to information and knowledge sharing.
Thanks to the support of the Spanish Cooperation Agency, this is the first report ever published in eBook format by the Organization.The modern initiative contributes to making progress towards more informed, equitable, competitive and democratic societies, where access to health information is considered a basic human right. The development of the new electronic publication is a key step to disseminating strategic information for decision makers on the use of technologies for health in the Americas.The dissemination of information is a basic need for advancing in eHealth, and PAHO/WHO is assuming a leading role in this effort.

Throughout its 12 chapters, eHealth Conversations”  presents the opinion of specialists, recommendations, readings and successful experiences. It presents the conclusions also in slide format, and includes interviews with the authors and messages to share through Twitter. Since the project was based on the components of the eHealth Strategy, the publication addresses issues such as infrastructure, information systems, telemedicine, access to information, policies, education, patient safety, electronic clinical record, standards for interoperability, legal issues, the relationship with eGovernment, and eHealth management.

Due to the variety and timeliness of the topics addressed, the eBook could be useful for decision makers, as well as health professionals, political leaders, program staff, and other players interested in the broad field of eHealth. The recommendations and other aspects analyzed in eHealth Conversations” will help the countries not only to develop and improve their ICT strategic plans related to public health, but will also strengthen eHealth programs in the Region of the Americas.

eHealth Conversations.  Using Information Management, Dialogue, and Knowledge Exchange to Move Toward Universal Access to Health”. Pan American Health Organization; 2014.