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ASEAN-Japan Healthcare ICT Workshop

The Japanese Telemedicine and Telecare Association (JITA) together with the Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) and BHN (NGO) has organized the ASEAN-Japan Health ICT Forum 2017 for the period of 19 – 23 February in Japan. The forum was held in the framework of ASEAN-Japan Health Initiative. The objective of this forum is to share and exchange knowledge and experience on healthcare ICT, or eHealth, among ASEAN countries and Japan.
The participants consisted of 27 representatives from eight ASEAN countries, two special guests, two from ASEAN secretariat and many from Japan as hosts. In addition, 170 participants attended the conference from Japan as observers.
They had meetings in Tokyo and study tours in Tochigi, Gunma and Kagawa prefectures. The participants learned about common needs and issues in the following subjects:
> development of healthcare among ASEAN countries
> the role of ICT as enabler
> force multiplier and key driver in achieving excellence in healthcare services
> challenges and concerns related to good governance
> relevance and retention of skilled manpower
> the need for telemedicine and telehealth to improve the healthcare delivery especially for countries wherein the population is spread across a large geographical location

The key message out of this forum that emerged from the exercise conducted by AeHIN could be summarized by the term “Mind the GAPS and Fill the GAPS.” The abbreviation “GAPS” means the following:
Governance: ICT applications in healthcare need to be governed by the highest accountable officials. This means they define the expected benefits, the risks to watch out for and allocate resources.
Architecture: ICTs in healthcare need a clear blueprint so that all stakeholders in a given country will know how they can contribute to the structure as a whole rather than silos.
People and program management: ICTs in healthcare requires capacity-building of key sectors (clinical, IT and administration) working together to make it work seamlessly.
Standards and interoperability: ICT healthcare works best if standards are adopted and observed by all stakeholders.
Through the forum, the participants shared awareness that is categorized in:
> Capacity building
> Collaboration (Annual Forum)
> Implementation of eHealth Projects
> International policies (Regulatory Framework)
As the first step to implement Key Messages and shared Awareness, AeHIN in consultation with JTTA and BHN, called for action for regional capacity building on Healthcare ICT technology in support of universal health coverage (UHC), non-communicable diseases (NCD) and disaster management in the ASEAN.


Hachihei Kurematsu, Project Manager
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