eHealth: Experts to Explore Applications of Information Technology and Communication in Health Care

Ninth Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information, organized by PAHO/WHO and BIREME, to be held on October 22-24 in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., October 18, 2012 (PAHO/OMS). Professionals in the fields of health and information sciences will participate in the Ninth Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information (CRICS9), organized by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and their affiliated Latin American and Caribbean Center on Health Sciences Information (BIREME), this coming October 22 to 24 in Washington, D.C.

Focusing on the theme “E-Health: Reaching Universal Access to Health,” the participants will share experiences and updates on current programs, projects, and health science information and communication systems and networks in the Region. Topics relevant to public health will also be considered in the keynote address and other speeches, as well as at round tables, on panels, and in tutorials based on the meeting’s five thematic tracks: information for decision-making in health, strategies and public policies, information and communication technologies, telehealth, and capacity-building.

eHealth can contribute to the sustainable development of health systems, better access to services, and improved service quality through the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), training in computer and ICT literacy, access to evidence-based information, and continuing and distance education.

The opening ceremony, to be chaired by Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, Director of PAHO, will take place on October 22 beginning at 9:00 a.m. The speakers at this session will be Marcelo D’ Agostino, Manager of Knowledge Management and Communication at PAHO; Adalberto Tardelli, Director of BIREME and Chair of CRICS9; Francis Collins, Director of the United States National Institutes of Health; and Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association.

The sessions will be held at the headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization in Washington, D.C., and include presentations on the PAHO/WHO eHealth strategy approved by the Member States of the Organization in 2011; information management in emergencies and disasters; Public eHealth, Innovation, and Equity in Latin America and the Caribbean (eSAC Project); and telehealth applied to primary health care in Brazil.

CRICS9 will be preceded on October 20 and 21 by the 6th Meeting of Regional Coordination of the Virtual Health Library (BVS6), which will also focus on the theme of eHealth. This event will be an in-person forum for sharing experiences and knowledge among members of the network of health-providing institutions, intermediaries, and users of scientific and technical health information from the Virtual Health Library (VHL). The participants, to be divided into three working groups, will discuss management and collaborative networks, information products and services available on the VHL, and technology and interfaces.

The concept “eHealth” encompasses electronic medical records (or electronic clinical histories), telehealth (including telemedicine), mHealth (health via mobile devices), eLearning (including distance training or learning), continuing education in information technology and communication, and standardization and interoperability between different technologies and software applications to allow data to be exchanged effectively, accurately, and reliably.

The CRICS series was initiated in 1992 during the meeting of the then representatives of the 37 countries that comprised the Latin American Health Information System, known today as the VHL Network. It was intended to be an innovative encounter bringing together experts in the fields of scientific information and communication, knowledge management, information methodologies and technologies, and their applications for the development of health research, education, and service delivery systems. Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Mexico have been host countries of CRICS in the past.

There is a registration fee, payable in advance. For further information, see


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