eHealth researcher Gunther Eysenbach describes eHealth as “an emerging field in the intersection of medical informatics, public health and business, referring to health services and information delivered or enhanced through the Internet and related technologies. In a broader sense, the term not only characterizes technical development, but also a state-of-mind, a way of thinking, an attitude, and a commitment for networked, global thinking, to improve health care locally, regionally, and worldwide by using information and communication technology.”
Through training, research and implementation, the Center for Global Health and Economic Development’s Global eHealth Program focuses on solutions to pressing global health needs through innovations in computers and information technology. The Global eHealth Program is a collaborative effort between the Millennium Villages Project at the Earth Institute, the Department of Biomedical Informatics at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health.
The Global eHealth Program develops partnerships, frameworks and agreements that will advance health systems. It also promotes the importance of interoperability and open, standards-based platforms to the donors, countries and technology companies creating eHealth applications for developing countries and to catalyze the formation of new collaborations around the themes identified.
The Program initially is focusing on eHealth work arising from the Millennium Global Village-Network (MGV-Net), an Open Source information architecture based on the OpenMRS platform. MGV-Net is being developed and installed in 11 countries in Africa, within the context of the Millennium Villages Project. The ability to collect, aggregate, analyze and share health-related information and communicate across multiple countries and languages is critical to achieving progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.
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