The Asia eHealth Information Network has its root as early as 2007 when the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a Canadian federal Crown corporation formed the PAN Asian Collaboration for Evidence-based eHealth Adoption and Application (PANACeA). PANACeA brought together 16 researchers from 10 Asian countries to learn about eHealth and eHealth research, and join hands to implement 8 multi-national research projects. This network supported multi-country research projects with mentorship from eHealth experts who provided leadership in the form of the Advisory and Monitoring Team (AMT). The projects ranged from evaluating effectiveness of using technologies for management of health information in hospital and community settings (Health Informatics and mHealth), to providing patient care at a distance (Telehealth).
By 2010 PANACeA members were able to witness an interoperability demonstration in Cape Town, South Africa funded by IDRC and Rockefeller Foundation. Future members of AeHIN saw for the first time how to establish an interoperability framework, based on the Canadian experience accessible to developing countries.
The Asia eHealth Information Network (AeHIN) promotes better use of information communication technology (ICT) to achieve better health through peer-to-peer assistance and knowledge sharing and learning through a regional approach for greater country-level impacts across South and Southeast Asia.
AeHIN maintains that better health can be achieved by strengthening evidence-based policies and health systems through better quality and timely health information systems (HIS) and civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS). AeHIN further asserts the role of ICT for health (eHealth) as an enabler to improve the flow of information, through electronic means, to support the delivery of quality and equitable healthcare services and management of health systems. To achieve this AeHIN works in four strategic areas to:
- Enhance leadership, sustainable governance, and monitoring and evaluation.
- Increase peer assistance and knowledge exchange and sharing through effective networking.
- Promote standards and interoperability within and across countries.
- Build capacity for eHealth, Health Information Systems (HIS), and Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) in the countries and in the region.