Toward a holistic definition for Information Systems for Health in the age of digital interdependence

Marcelo D’Agostino, Myrna Marti, Paula Otero, Daniel Doane, Ian Brooks, Sebastian Garcia Saiso, Jennifer Nelson, Luis Tejerina, Alexandre Bagolle, Felipe Medina Mejia, Daniel Luna, Walter H. Curioso, Viviane Lourenço, Victoria Malek, Gerardo de Cosio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article’s main objective is to propose a new definition for Information Systems for Health, which is characterized by the identification and involvement of all the parts of a complex and interconnected process for data collection and decision-making in public health in the information society. The development of the concept was through a seven-step process including document analysis, on-site and virtual sessions for experts, and an online survey of broader health professionals. This new definition seeks to provide a holistic view, process, and approach for managing interoperable applications and databases that ethically considers open and free access to structured and unstructured data from different sectors, strategic information, and information and communication technology (ICT) tools for decision-making for the benefit of public health. It also supports the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals and the implementation of universal access to health and universal health coverage as well as Health in All Policies as an approach to promote health-related policies across sectors. Information Systems for Health evolves from preconceptions of health information systems to an integrated and multistakeholder effort that ensures better care and better policy-making and decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere143
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
StatePublished - 2021


  • EHealth policies
  • Health information systems
  • Health policy
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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