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WHO Forum on Health Data Standardization and Interoperability


3 - 4 December 2012, WHO Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland.
Interoperability has been recognized as essential to achieving the full potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and medical devices in support of health systems as part of the overall socioeconomic development of countries. The eHealth unit within the Department of Knowledge Management and Sharing at the World Health Organization is leading this work in collaboration with technical programmes and member states to advance the appropriate use of ICTs to deliver quality of health services, reduce cost and achieve universal health coverage. Transmitting personal or population data across ICT-driven health information systems requires adherence to health data standards and related technology standards for secure, accurate and timely exchange of data for healthcare decisions.

Lack of data interoperability within and between systems developed by technical programmes or member states not only hinders care delivery, waste resources and leads to fragmentation of health information systems but at times can also cause fatalities. Implementing health data standards to achieve interoperability requires collective action by the Organization and its member states. We have to face the challenge that many countries lack capacity to participate in standards development and their implementation.

Participants invited to this forum include representatives from health data Standards Development Organizations (SDOs),  Member States, academic and research institutions, implementing partners, donor community, and subject matter experts concerned with development, adoption, and implementation of health data standards at national and sub-national level in addition to WHO technical programmes and regional offices.

If you would like to attend the Forum or for further information, please contact the technical focal point for this meeting, Dr Ramesh S. Krishnamurthy via email:

Two weeks prior to the Forum, a background document on Health Data Standardization and Interoperability, annotated agenda, and other relevant documents will be made available at