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WHO publishes first ‘SMART guidelines’

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WHO has launched its first SMART guidelines, significant efforts to accelerate the availability and impact of WHO recommendations for health and data in digital systems at the state level, starting with antenatal care.

What are the SMART guidelines?

As countries invest more and more in digital technologies to strengthen the health care system, SMART guidelines represent a practical approach to achieving more effective global guidelines in all areas of health and well-being.

They will support policy makers, policy makers, technology teams and health professionals through the process of adapting and implementing WHO recommendations on health and data to existing – and developing – digital systems.

“SMART” stands for WITHbased on tandar, Mmachine readable, ANDdaptive, Rbased on equipment and Treal estate. Access to the SMART guidelines includes documentation, procedures and digital health tools, presented in a new commentary published in Lancet Digital Health.

“Nowadays, the rigorous process of developing WHO guidelines is only one part of improving health outcomes for people around the world,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO’s chief scientist.

“Recommendations become meaningful when they are removed from the site and effectively applied to local systems at the state level; when aligned with the new evidence base. The SMART guidelines are a pioneering approach to the transformation of digital health systems. “

Why are SMART guidelines needed?

Digital tools have enormous potential to improve the reach and accessibility of WHO guidelines in each country, strengthen the quality of care, and accelerate progress toward national and sustainable development goals.

However, adapting recommendations in line with existing digital systems, as well as local policies and procedures, is a well-documented challenge.

“The digital health landscape of each country differs, from the selected software to the available data and defined priorities. In order to reduce errors, ensure transparency and adhere to technical standards, a systematic approach to understanding and adapting WHO recommendations is crucial, ”said Dr. Nancy Kidula, Medical Officer at the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

The approach of the SMART guidelines recognizes the complexity of this digital adaptation for health systems, institutions and service providers. It is divided into five “layers of knowledge” that provide a systematic, transparent and verifiable structure for the work of countries. This ensures that the guidelines are translated into efficient and interoperable digital systems – systems that can be fully connected, communicated and shared with any other device or digital platform, with maximum benefit.

All content of the SMART guidelines is software-neutral, meaning it can be adapted to any software platform the state has chosen to use. The approach is based on respect for the privacy and security of patient health data.

Application of SMART guidelines on maternal health and rights

New WHO SMART Guidelines for Prenatal Care support a key WHO priority: improving maternal health and well-being.

The WHO is committed to health planning where women are values ​​and preferences are at the center their worries. Localized adaptation of global recommendations is key to ensuring quality antenatal care, leading to the best possible physical, emotional, and psychological outcomes for all.

Apply SMART approach to WHO recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience it is a dynamic way of repackaging existing evidence-based guidelines, which facilitates implementation with digital solutions.

The WHO SMAT guidelines for antenatal care are based on the foundations it has laid A guide to adjusting prenatal care recommendations for WHO policy makers and monitoring framework for antenatal care. They include a Digital customization kit, an implementation guide for machine-readable recommendationsia WHO digital ANC module for health care providers.

Partnership and a transparent process are key

SMART guidelines are not a stand-alone solution. The paper requires good digital health planning and management by investors, governments and technical bodies integrate digital approaches and investments in health systems.

“Digital health can transform health outcomes – but only if it is supported by sufficient resources for management, people and processes,” said Dr. Dan Rosen, head of health informatics and data management at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. .

“At this exciting time in the history of digital development, we are committed to working with WHO and partners in all sectors to support a fair and universal approach to quality health services for all.”

SMART guidelines for HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, immunization, family planning, child health and humanitarian emergencies are under development and will be published later this year. The SMART guidelines will be key to the transformation of digital health systems and the achievement of universal health coverage and UN sustainable development goals.

WHO calls on partners to help build and maintain effective digital health systems and support access to SMART guidelines.

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