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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 23.04.2024, 04:05

Estonia, WHO to work together in digital health

BC, Tallinn, 06.10.2020.Print version
Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas and World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at a video ceremony on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding that allows Estonian entrepreneurs and researchers to start working on digital immunization certificate, interoperability, and other projects, informs LETA/BNS.


This will allow for an improved immunization record, robust and transparent exchange of vaccination data across borders of what we hope will be an eventual vaccine for COVID-19, as well as immunizations records for other diseases, spokespeople for the Estonian government said.

The pandemic has shown the world that in crisis we need to have a global anchor of trust like the WHO has been, the prime minister of Estonia said.

"A safe and trustworthy place where member states can seek guidance if needed. The World Health Organization can play a huge role in the global digital health governance. Our pilot project presents an extraordinary opportunity for the Estonian community to help the world in the fight against COVID-19 and to make our experience of building digital services global," the prime minister of Estonia said.

Ratas said he hopes that the digitization of the so-called yellow vaccination card would open the door to wider cooperation.

"The next step would be to create a global trust architecture that member states and the WHO could easily use to create any other cross-border service, paving the way for a truly global exchange of health data," he said.

Ratas added that Estonia is involved in the discussions at a very good time, as the WHO is currently finalizing its broader digital health strategy for 2020-2025.

The director of the WHO said the memorandum that was signed on Monday establishes a valuable cooperation framework for digital health and innovation.

"We are excited to work with Estonia and other stakeholders to develop digital tools that can help to deliver high-quality, people-centered, and evidence-informed care," Ghebreyesus said.

The Estonian e-health project received recognition from the World Health Organization, and thanks to this, the representatives of Estonia are now involved in the WHO Digital Health Technical Advisory Group. It also means many new opportunities to use Estonian X-Road solutions.

"Estonia has emerged as a regional and global front runner in digital health by creating digital public services that are freely accessible by all -- and that traverse education, health and welfare sectors. They are Europe's digital success story who have much to offer the international community -- and the world -- through sharing of their knowledge and expertise for the creation of digital public health goods to improve the quality of life for millions," said Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe.

After signing the protocol of common intentions, Ratas and Ghebreyesus discussed the global situation regarding the spread of the COVID-19 and the solutions to the health crisis in Estonia. The Estonian prime minister thanked the WHO leader for supporting countries in their response to COVID-19 and providing technical assistance.

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