eHealth 2014

In the past few years, innovative training strategies have made Sri Lanka gain a unique set of human resource in the form of medical doctors with expertise in health informatics. The initiation of this program by the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM) of the University of Colombo in collaboration with the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo, made it possible for novel e-health initiatives to take off at a rapid rate and for some of these initiatives to reach national recognition. While e-health solutions grow in number with each passing day, it becomes imperative that these e-health solutions cater to the national needs, are of high quality and are sustainable in developing contexts. At the same time, national e-health initiatives and strategies can learn from the region where e-health policies, solutions and implementations have evolved in leaps and bounds. In hope of sharing the e-health knowledge generated within Sri Lanka with local and international participants as well as to gain from the regional developments related to e-health, the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine of the University of Colombo in collaboration with the Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka (HISSL) organize this e-health conference under the theme “eHealth in Sri Lanka: aligning with National and Regional eHealth Strategies.”

Dates: 6 – 8 October 2014

Theme: eHealth in Sri Lanka: aligning with National and Regional eHealth Strategies

 Venue: Hotel Galadari, Colombo

Conference tracks:

  • People centered eHealth Policies and strategies
  • eHealth as a political priority and partnership
  • Systematic and periodic assessment of eHealth
  • Organizational and technological infrastructure of eHealth
  • Use of ICT to strengthening national health information systems to achieve universal coverage
  • Sustainable, scalable and interoperable eHealth for health service delivery, patient management and CRVS
  • Inter-sectoral collaboration
  • Stakeholder engagement for adopting data standards and interoperability
  • Adopting legal and regulatory frameworks to support ICT in health care
  • Training health IT in medical schools, universities and among health workforce
  • eLearning for continuing professional education for health-care providers and educate mass population
  • Promoting research using eHealth tools



 Monday 06 October 2014: Inauguration
6.00pm Invitees Take Their Seats
6.15pm Arrival of Chief Guest and Guest of Honour
6.20pm Ceremonial Procession
6.30pm National Anthem
6.35pm Lighting of the Lamp of Learning
6.45pm Welcome Address by Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake; Founder Chairperson, Specialty Board in Biomedical Informatics, PGIM & President HISSL
7.15pm Address by Prof. Janaka De Silva; Director, Postgraduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM), University of Colombo
7.30pm Address by Dr. Kumara Hirimburegama; Vice Chancellor, University of Colombo
7.45pm Address by Prof. Kirstin Braa; Professor and Vice Head, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo and Head, Health Information Systems Programme
8.00pm Address by the Guest of Honour, Honourable. Maithripala Sirisena; Minister of Health, Sri Lanka
8.15pm Keynote Address by the Chief Guest Dr. Solaiman Juman; President, Commonwealth Medical Association
8.45pm Vote of Thanks by Dr. Rohana Marasinghe; Chairperson, Specialty Board in Biomedical Informatics, PGIM
9.00pm Cultural Show and Reception

 Tuesday 07 October 2014

Opening Plenary: How IT and global health can save lives: examples from the Global Burden of Disease Study and the Population Health Metrics Research Consortium
Dr. Jed Blore
Research Fellow, Global Burden of Disease Group, School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Australia

9.45am Tea

Parallel Symposium 1:eHealth Policies and Strategies

eHealth for India – Challenges and Opportunities
Dr. Thanga Prabhu

Strategizing eHealth in the Health Information Context
Dr. Pradeep Sylva

Implementation of proposed standards and guidelines on privacy, confidentiality and information security: A SWOT analysis
Dr. Kusal Wijayaweera

Policy issues in implementing Open Source Electronic Health Record Systems in Sri Lankan Hospitals
Dr. Samiddhi Samarakoon


Parallel Symposium 2:eHealth as a Political Priority and Partnership Building

eHospital Dompe & mChanelling Implementation Challenges and Change Management
Dr. Sampath Kulathilake

Lessons from the longest Running HIMS in Sri Lanka
Dr. Prasad Ranatunga

Stakeholder Engagement in Developing Health Information Systems in the National Programme for Tuberculosis Control and Chest Diseases
Dr. Pramil Liyanage


Parallel Symposium 3:mHealth and Electronic Health Records

Innovative Mobile Technologies improving health in developing countries
Prof. Kristin Braa

An mHealth Solution to Strengthen Communicable Disease Surveillance System
Dr. Indika Jagoda

The SLMA Mobitel DocCall Service
Dr. Nishan Siriwardena



Plenary Session 2: eHealth from a Medical Administrator’s Prespective
Dr. Champika Wickramasinghe
Director – Health Information, Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka

12.45pm Lunch

Parallel Symposium 4:Inter-Sectoral Collaboration in eHealth

Innovation in Public Health Surveillance
Dr. Miguel Torres Urqidy

Enterprise Architecture and How it Applies to Sri Lankan Context
Dr. Manjula Dharmawardena

Facilitating Inter-sectoral Collaboration with EMR: Experience from HIV/AIDS Programme
Dr. Sriyantha de Silva


Parallel Symposium 5:Use of ICT to Strengthen the National Health Information System

Electronic Morbidity and Mortality System and its significance
Dr. Buddika Dayaratne

Improving User Complience by Reducing Complexities of Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) of Healthcare IT Solutions in High Volume Clinical Settings
Dr. Nirmal Cooray

Electronic Data Management in a Public Health Laboratory
Dr. Deepal Wijesooriya

Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality Review: An ICT solution
Dr. Praveen de Silva


Parallel Symposium 6:Organizational and Technological Infrastructure for eHealth

The Value of Healthcare IT Continuity in an Expanded Healthcare Echosystem
Lacey A. Hart

Readiness and Recommendations for Health Information Sharing: The Sri Lankan Scenario
Dr. Roshan Hewapathirana

Developing Provincial Health Information Infrastrucure: The Southern Province Experience
Dr Buddhika Ariyaratne

Orthopaedic HIS – National Hospital, Sri Lanka
Dr Priyanga Senanayake



Commonwealth eHealth Dialog

CMA eHealth Triennium
Dr. Solaiman Juman

eHealth Solutions to Control Non-communicable Diseases
Prof. S. Arulrhaj

Healthcare Quality Improvement through eHealth
Dr. Saminda M. Dharmaratne

Interactive Session I:
New Developments in DHIS2

Prof. Kristin Braa
Dr. Roshan Hewapathirana

Interactive Session II:
Open Source Tools for Bioinformatics

Pubudu Samarakoon

4.00pm Tea & Close of Day 1

 Wednesday 08 October 2014

Plenary Session 3: Capacity Building in HIS – 20 Years of Experience
Prof. Kristin Braa
Professor and Vice Head, Department of Informatics, University of Oslo, Norway; Head, Health Information Systems Programme

9.45am Tea

Parallel Symposium 7:Sustainable, Scaleble and Interoperable eHealth for Health Service Delivary, Patient Management and Civil Registration and Vital Statics

Civil Registration and Vital Statistics
Jyotsna Chikersal

Open Source Reuse for Cost-Effective Software Development in a Low-Resource Setting: the Sri Lankan Health Sector Disaster Management System
Dr. Prasanna Weerakoon

Customization of the Clinical Management Information Systems of the Cancer Early Detection Centre Using DHIS2
Dr. Neranga Liyanaarachchi


Parallel Symposium 8:Stakeholder Engagement for Adopting Data Standards and Interoperability

Stakeholder Engagement for Adopting Data Standards and Interoperability
Thushara Suraweera

Strategic Planning for eReadiness: Experience of the North-Western Province
Dr. Arjuna Wijekoon

Lanka Interoperability Framework (LiFE.HD)
Dr. Clive James


Parallel Symposium 9:Adopting Legal and Regulatory Frameworks to Support ICT in Health Care

Legal Framework for Implementation of ICT in Sri Lanka
Jayantha Fernando

CoBIT and its Possible Applications in Sri Lankan Context
Dr. Kosala Randeniya

Open Source Governance in Health Sector
Dr. Roshan Hewapathirana

Internet Use Monitoring and Filtering in a Government Hospital
Dr. Prasad Ranatunga



Plenary Session 4: World Health Organisation’s – Regional eHealth Strategy
Jyotsna Chikersal
Regional Adviser, World Health Organisation, SEARO Office

12.45pm Lunch

Parallel Symposium 10:Social Media for medical Associations

Capturing Attention and Converting Leads: the SLMA Website and Email List
Dr. Deepal Wijesuriya

Interacting with Professionals and Public via Social Platforms
Dr. Rikaz Sheriff

Publishing Online: the SLMA Online Library
Dr. Prasad Ranatunga


Parallel Symposium 11:Surveillance Systems

Injury Surveillance: DHIS2 Beyond Public Health
Dr. A. Jayathilake

The National non Communicable Disease Survellance System
Dr. Deepal Wijesooriya

National Birth Defects Surveillance System
Dr. Kapila Jayarathne

National Feto-Infant Mortality Surveilance System
Dr. Manodya Rajapaksa


Parallel Symposium 12: IT Literacy, Facilitating eLearning and Health Education

Computer Literacy Among Health Care Workers in District Based Hospitals in Kalutara District
Dr. Ayanthi Jayawardene

Automation of the Medical Library at the Medical Research Institute Using an Open Source Library Information and Management System
Dr. Sanath Thubellage

Suwasariya – The way forward in electronic health education for all
Dr. Gumindu Kulatunga


3.00pm Plenary Symposium on the National Nutrition Monitoring and Surveillance System

Introduction to the Multi Sectoral Plan
Dr. Lalith Chandradasa

Gathering Real Time Data Related to Nutrition Indicators at PHM Level
Dr. Roshan Hewapathirana

The Proposed Monitoring and Evaluation System for Nutrition for the Multi sectoral Plan at Divisional/National Level
Dr. Indika Jagoda

Panel Discussion: Dr Amal Harsha de Silva, Dr Lalith Chandradasa, Professor Vajira H.W. Dissanayake, Edward Archibald (Aus Aid), Ms. Una McCauley (Country Representative, Unicef), Dr. Renuka Jayatissa, Professor Kristin Braa (University of Oslo).

4.00pm Tea & Close

 Download Programme Book here.

Panel of Speakers

 Keynote Speakers

Professor S. Arulrhaj
Dr. Arulrhaj is an adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai. He also server as an examiner to PGDEM of Georgia Washington University, USA. He plays an active role in the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Association of Physicians in India and honored by the Life Time Achievement Award from the Dr. MGR Medical University, Chennai. He was elected as the Vice President of Commonwealth medical Association for 2004-2007 and the President of Commonwealth medical Association for 2007-2010. Dr Arulrhaj was the Dean of IMA College, NewDelhi for 1996-1998 and further as the National President of IMA 2002-2003.


Dr Jed Blore
Research Fellow, Global Burden of Disease Group
School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne

Ms. Jyotsna Chikersal
Ms Jyotsna Chikersal is the Regional Advisor for Health Situation and Trend Assessment (HST) for the WHO’s South East Asia Region based in New Delhi, India. She leads WHO’s technical advice to member countries in the region on strengthening Health Information Systems, Civil registration and Vital Statistics, Health Statistics and eHealth as key pillars to strengthen Health Systems. She has over 15 years of experience in building strategic collaborations with development partners and academic institutions to promote technical cooperation as well as capacity building in the area of HST. In recent years, unit’s work has also focused on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in improving quality health services, accelerating universal health coverage, monitoring results, and improving information and accountability for better health outcomes. She has also been spearheading work in the region towards the direction of implementing Open Source Tools, District Health Information System, Electronic Medical Records and Health Data Standards. Ms Chikersal has also being taking forward the coordination of the activities under the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s(COIA) health in SEAR countries, and monitoring of international health goals such as MDGs.

Prof Kristin

Professor Kristin Braa
Kristin Braa is a Professor and Vice Head at the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo since she returned from Telenor a Norwegian international telecom company in 2009. There she established and headed a research and innovation center for Telenor’s Asian operations. She is currently heading the Health Information Systems Program (HISP) network, initiated at the University of Oslo in 1994. HISP is a global action research network which is responsible for the development of the open source based District Health Information Software (DHIS 2). 20 PhD students have graduated and 34 are currently doing their PhD with this program. DHIS 2 is developed, customized and used for reporting, analysis and dissemination of health data for all health programs in an integrated way. It is a shared and integrated data warehouse for essential health data with the aim of supporting information for action. It is implemented in over 40 countries in Africa and Asia including 12 states in India. 12 countries has selected it as a national online HIS using mobile internet. Data can be captured and visualized on any type of mobile device including tablets, smart phones and feature phones.

Ms Lacey Hart
Lacey Hart, MBA, is a Project Management Institute–certified project manager with a master’s degree in business administration with 17 years in the healthcare field. She is the Vice President of Strategic Planning & Business Development for Brandix I three. Ms. Hart, formerly of Mayo Clinic, was the program director for research programs including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/Office of the National Coordinator for Healthcare IT (ONC) Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) on Secondary EHR Data Use and the Beacon Community grant, and the National Institutes of Health/National Human Genome Institute–funded consortium of biorepositories linked to medical records (eMERGE) to name a few. Brandix I three Healthcare Sector is enabling healthcare transformation through innovative health IT solutions and process improvement expertise.

Dr Solaiman Juman
Dr. Solaiman is a graduate of the University of West Indies (UWI). He subsequently did Postgraduate training in the UK, obtaining the FRCS (Eng) in General Surgery and Otolaryngology. Since 1995 he has been a Lecturer in Otolaryngology at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad. At present, he is the Programme Director in Otolaryngology in the St. Augustine Campus of UWI. His research interests include Paediatric Otolaryngology and the demographics of ENT disease in Trinidad & Tobago.
He is Past President of the Trinidad & Tobago Medical Association as well as the Trinidad & Tobago Society of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery. He is the Editor of the Caribbean Medical Journal and also member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery (AAOHNS). In 2013 he was elected the President of the Commonwealth Medical Association (CMA). His vision is to use the vehicle of the CMA to empower the National Medical Associations of the Commonwealth. There is a high penetration of Digital technology(e-Health and m-Health) in the countries of the Commonwealth and lends itself to being the ideal and cost-effective medium for the sharing of knowledge amongst the countries of the commonwealth to provide optimal care for their citizens.

Dr Thanga

Dr Thanga Prabhu
Dr Prabhu is the Clinical Director of the GE Healthcare IT. He is the founding secretary of IAMI Bangalore chapter and currently and Executive Committee member of the IAMI (Indian Association for Medical Informatics). He serves as the International Ambassador for Swansea University.

Dr Thanga

Dr Miguel Torres Urqidy
Miguel H. Torres Urquidy, DDS, MS, is Senior Service Fellow at the Division of Health Informatics and Surveillance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is also former BioSense Program Manager for CDC which is one of the largest biosurveillance systems in the world. Dr. Torres Urquidy first joined CDC’s Influenza Division as Informatics Fellow where he led the development of several visualization systems of influenza information including mobile technologies. Internationally, he assisted in assessing the influenza surveillance capabilities in Central America. Dr. Torres Urquidy’s work in visualization earned him several awards including the 2013 National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Honor Award for “Excellence in Domestic Epidemiology.” Previously, he was a post-doctoral associate at the Center for Dental Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh working on National Institutes of Health-funded research related to clinical terminologies. Dr. Torres Urquidy was trained as a dentist at the National University of Mexico and continued his education with a master’s degree in biomedical informatics from the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. There, he developed a biosurveillance system that detected oral manifestations caused by bioterrorist agents by using emergency department data. In 2004, he rotated with the NIH’s National Library of Medicine conducted analyses on U.S. public policy. Dr. Torres Urquidy is past chair of the Dental Informatics Working Group at the American Medical Informatics Association and the International Medical Informatics Association. His work has been featured in several peer-reviewed health journals, US media and conferences. His book, Medical and Dental Data Integration, is published by Springer-Verlag.

Dr Thanga

Dr Champika Wickramasinghe
Dr Wickramasinghe is the Director, Health Information and acting Senior Assistant Secretary – Medical Services in the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka. She obtained her MBBS from University of Peradeniya and her MSc and MD in Community Medicine from University of Colombo.   Having worked as a Medical Administrator for the past 12 years holding key administrative posts including that of Director Planning, Director International Health and Medical superintendent  DGH Negombo, she possess an in depth understanding of the intricacies of the state health sector. She is also presently involved in several large scale projects as the Project Director viz. SHSDP, JICA, in the Ministry of Health. She is the present Vice-President of the College of Medical Administrators and a member of the Specialty Board for Biomedical Informatics at the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, University of Colombo. Her special interests revolves around health economics, and Health planning.


Dr Buddhika Ariyaratne 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Department of Health Services, Southern Province

Dr Nirmala Cooray 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Ministry of Health

Dr Buddika Dayaratne 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Ministry of Health


Dr NS Sriyantha de Silva 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Ministry of Health

Dr Praveen de Silva 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Castle Street Hospital for Women

Dr Saminda M. Dharmaratne 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Teaching Hospital, Kandy


Dr Manjula Dharmawardhana
Medical Officer-Health Information, The National Hospital of Sri Lanka

Mr Jayatha Fernando 
Programme Director/Legal Advisor, Information & Communication Agency

Dr Roshan Hewapathirana 
Visiting Lecturer, Postgraduate Institute of Medicine


Dr Indika Jagoda 
Registrar in Medical Administration, Ministry of Health

Dr Clive James 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Ministry of Health

Dr Kapila Jayaratne 
National Programme Manager – Maternal & Child Morbidity & Mortality Surveillance, Family Health Bureau


Dr Achala Jayatilleke 
Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Informatics,
Postgraduate Institute of Medicine

Dr DBAS Jayawardane 
Registrar in Medical Administration, Ministry of Health

Dr Sampath Kulatilake 
Medical Officer In Charge Of  eHOSPITAL-DompeProject  &  mChannelingDistrict Hospital – Dompe


Dr Gumindu Kulatunga 
Medical Officer-Health Information, CoordinatorSuwasariya ehealth education resource center, Health Education Bureau

Dr Pramil Liyanage 
Medical Officer-Health Information, National Programme for Tuberculosis Control & Chest Diseases

Dr Neranga Liyanaarachchi 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Ministry of Health


Dr Manodya Rajapaksa 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Office of Regional Director of Health Services, Puttalam

Dr Prasad Ranatunga
Medical Officer-Health Information, Provincial General Hospital, Kurunegala

Dr Kosala Randeniya 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Ministry of Health


Dr Rikaz Sheriff 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Office of the Provincial Director of Health Services, Western Province

Mr Thushara Suraweera
Programme Specialist, Information & Communication Technology Agency

Dr Pradeep Sylva 
Dental Surgeon-Health Information, Ministry of Health


Mr Pubudu Samarakoon 
Research Fellow, University of Oslo

Dr Nishan Siriwardena
Medical Officer-Health Information, National Cancer Institute

Dr Sanath Thubellage 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Medical Research Institute


Dr Prasanna Weerakoon
Medical Officer-Health Information, Ministry of Health

Dr Kusal Wijayaweera 
Medical Officer-Health Information, Ministry of Health

Dr Arjuna Wijekoon 
Head of the Health Information Management Unit, Department of Health Services, North-western Province


Dr Deepal Wijesooriya
Medical Officer-Health Information, National Institute of Health Sciences

Dr Priyanga Senanayake
Medical Officer-Health Information, Sri Jayawardanepura General Hospital

Dr Samiddhi Samarakoon
Registrar in Medical Administration, Ministry of Health

Conference partners:

Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka