e-health, the use of ICTs in healthcare, has been a strong feature of this Assembly. The extensive discussion in GSS and a dedicated side event complement the Committee 4 agreement on a new Resolution on e-health.
Pending final WTSA-12 Plenary approval, Information and communication technology applications and standards for improved access to e-health services instructs the Director of TSB, Malcolm Johnson, to collaborate with Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, to prioritize and coordinate work on e-health in the years to come.
The Resolution will act as the catalyst for the initiation of new work in various ITU-T Study Groups, in particular SG16 (multimedia), SG11 (protocols) and SG17 (security), as well as increased interaction with WHO and other organizations addressing ICT healthcare standards. ITU-T’s Focus Group on the machine-to-machine service layer (FG M2M) was established in January 2012 and initially addresses healthcare services enabled by M2M, e.g., remote patient monitoring and ambient assisted living.
Security standards for e-health communications, services, databases, records handling, identification and authentication were among the priorities identified at Tuesday’s e-health side event and are reflected in the proposed Resolution.
ITU’s Technology Watch report on e-health standards and interoperability by Dr Laura DeNardis (American University, Washington, DC) gives an insight into some of the latest trends in e-health and explains how standards facilitate the adoption of related services.