Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) together with the Health Information Society of Sri Lanka (HISSL) successfully presented a knowledge sharing programme themed, “Digital Health: From possibility to reality” at the Jetwing Colombo Seven recently. This was a great opportunity to hear from and network with key figures who are driving Sri Lanka’s digital health roadmap. The programme was successfully held with the participation of a large number of tech savvy medical professionals, ICT experts, software developers, venders as well as health industry related stakeholders in Sri Lanka.

The keynote speaker of the programme was Professor Vajira H. W. Dissanayake, who spoke on the the topic of “The Digital Health Ecosystem of Sri Lanka” while several doctors who work as team leaders of digital health projects also shared their insights and firsthand experiences at this forum through their presentations and the panel discussion that followed.

From left - Senior Journalist Mr. Feizal Samath, Professor Vajira Dissanayake, Dr. Buddika Dayaratne, Dr. Nishan Siriwardena, Dr. Pamod Amarakoon, Mr. Kasun Karunaratne of Creative Software and Mr. Irshad Deen of SLT

The panellists comprised of Dr. Nishan Siriwardena, Team Leader of the Hospital Information Systems Project, Health Informatician, Ministry of Health; Dr. Pamod Amarakoon, Team Leader of the District Nutrition Monitoring System, Health Informatician, Ministry of Health; Dr. Buddika Dayaratne, Health Informatician, Ministry of Health and Mr Irshad Deen, General Manager – Enterprise Products & Solutions of SLT. They shared their unique experiences and knowledge gained through their projects, on the topics “Hospital Information System (HISL)”, “Monitoring Children in the Community Using Smart Phones”, “Gathering Country Wide Data on the Incidence of Data Electronically” and “Partnering The Digital Transformation of Sri Lanka”, respectively. The moderator was Mr Feizal Samath, a veteran journalist, editor and foreign correspondent.

During the forum, the keynote speaker Professor Vajira H. W. Dissanayake addressing the gathering said, “The developments in digital has opened the way for amazing new possibilities in the healthcare industry with regards to treatments, powerful diagnostics, and opportunities to share the rapidly growing wealth of knowledge. Undoubtedly, healthcare has become more effective; however, on the other hand, it has also become more complex and costly. It has always been challenging for us to find the right balance at this stage between implementing new systems and delivering efficient and cost effective services to beneficiaries. If we are to ensure that health care remains affordable and widely available for future generations, we need to rethink radically how we provide and manage it. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to transform and implement the world class healthcare system in our country. For that we need the support of all the top level Sri Lankan ICT and software companies and developers to design the best ever solution for Sri Lanka whilst also providing state-of-the-art solutions to corporates and governments of other countries. We need to understand that a well connected healthcare system can provide access to life-saving treatment to more people, particularly in rural areas. However we must be happy, that in Sri Lanka today, connected healthcare is slowly becoming a reality.”

Creative Technology Solutions Pte Ltd (Creative Software), one of the pioneers and leaders in Sri Lanka’s software industry and Federation of Information Technology Sri Lanka (FITIS), the apex body of the ICT sector in the country covering all major industry segments such as Hardware, Software, Training & Education, Communication and Professional, e-Channelling PLC, the pioneer software development and ICT service provider to the Healthcare industry in Sri Lanka provided their partnership and support to the event as “Industry partners” while the Sunday Times newspaper supported in the role of “Print media partner” to this worthy endeavor.

Digital transformation is a key driver of sweeping change in the modern world. Digital market including the digital health industry is developing into a global digital economy. Digitalisation has the potential to improve the quality of life and move towards greater societal good. The telecommunication industry is at the heart of global digitalisation as a key enabler by providing the essential connectivity infrastructure for functioning in the digital economy.

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