A panel session was organized at the Geneva Health Forum of 2012 in order to discuss challenges for the evaluation and scale-up of telemedicine and eHealth in developing countries. Establishing an evidence base about the many dimensions of eHealth is important in order to inform decision-makers, learn from the many ongoing experiences, and identify further needs for research in eHealth. This is particularly true now that the domain is gaining significant political momentum and thus raises expectations that eHealth should help strengthening health systems worldwide. We see this evidence base as necessary to justify and mobilize resources for large-scale deployments of eHealth tools. The session, organized in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union, addressed challenges and opportunities for evaluating the impact of eHealth as it is now being increasingly deployed in various settings in low- and middle-income countries.
H.E. Housseinou Ba, Minister of Health of Mauritania (and former coordinator of the RAFT in Mauritania), presented the ambitious national telemedicine programme aiming at accelerating the achievement of Millenium Development Goals 4 & 5, i.e., the reduction of maternal and child mortality by 2015. This programme will use tools and techniques developed by the RAFT project.