BIREME/PAHO/WHO coordinated the 1st Meeting of the e-BlueInfo Regional Steering Committee on August 26, 2020, which was attended by representatives of Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru, as members of the Committee, and from Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay, invited observers for being in the process of adopting e-BlueInfo in their countries.
The members of the Regional Steering Committee are professionals from the Ministries of Health and the PAHO/WHO Representations, who also integrate the Local Content Committees, responsible for selecting, organizing and publishing information on e-BlueInfo.
The opening speeches of the meeting were given by Sebastián García, Director of the Department of Evidence and Intelligence for Action in Health (EIH) at PAHO/WHO Headquarters and Diego González, Director of BIREME whose team also serves as Committee Secretariat and coordinator of the Regional Technology Committee, under the coordination of Renato Murasaki, Manager of Technologies and Administration of Information Sources at the Center, responsible for the development, maintenance and hosting of the e-BlueInfo platform.
e-BlueInfo is an application available for Android and iOS systems that puts reliable and up-to-date information in the palm of healthcare professionals’ hands, such as guides, protocols and other health-oriented content. Currently, e-BlueInfo has information related to Primary Care, in the context of health systems and services in Brazil, Guatemala and Peru, as well as content on COVID-19, including El Salvador.
The Regional Steering Committee has the following functions available for Android and iOS systems that provides reliable and up-to-date information, such as guidelines, protocols and other content oriented to health practice, in the palm of healthcare professionals. Currently, e-BlueInfo has information related to Primary Health Care in the context of health systems and services in Brazil, Guatemala and Peru, as well as content on COVID-19, including El Salvador.
The Regional Steering Committee has the following functions:
- Manage the App’s lifecycle to satisfy users’ needs, increase access and use of information and scientific and technical evidence in health and increase its impact in Latin America and the Caribbean;
- Set priorities for updating and operating the App;
- Promote the sustainable functioning of e-BlueInfo in terms of human, material and financial resources; and
- Monitor the development of the work plans of the Regional Technology Committee and the Local Content Committees.
During the meeting, which included 50 people connected via web conference, topics related to the current situation of the App were presented and discussed, such as installation statistics in countries and access to content, proposal for a new version of e-BlueInfo and integrated communication plan.
The following features that will be available in the new version of the App are highlighted:
- Lighter and more intuitive interface;
- Greater visibility for health authorities as responsible for the selected and available content;
- New ways to filter and browse content, such as filters by health topics, types of content and digital formats (text file, videos, presentations, images, links);
- Access to similar documents available at the Virtual Health Library (VHL);
- Personalized services through user and password authentication for favorite and visited documents; and
- Retrieval of scientific evidence available in the VHL from codifications of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), the Clinical Terms SNOMED (SNOMED-CT) and the Health Sciences Descriptors (DeCS/MeSH).
Representatives of the Local Content Committees also had the opportunity to present their work plans for building and curating the collections of documents in each country.
According to Renato Murasaki, “The holding of the 1st Meeting of the Regional Steering Committee is an important milestone for the management of e-BlueInfo, which promotes participatory, sustainable governance and aligned with the needs of countries, strategically integrating aspects of content, technology, communication and evaluation and monitoring of its use and impact ”.
Sebastián García, in his concluding remarks, highlighted the great work developed by BIREME and the leap in quality and facilities that the new version of e-BlueInfo will offer, the importance of its implementation during the pandemic, to bring information to those who first need it the front line of healthcare, besides the need to incorporate this experience to other countries of the Region.