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IHTSDO announces free use of SNOMED CT in low-income countries

The International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO) announced that it will make Affiliate Licenses for the use of SNOMED CT available to users in low income countries free of charge, as they are in IHTSDO Member countries. This initiative is part of the organisation’s commitment to enable broader use of standardised clinical terminologies worldwide. “Having accurate and reliable health information when and where needed saves lives and saves time,” says Dr Jennifer Zelmer, IHTSDO’s chief utive officer. “By making it easier to use SNOMED CT in resource poor settings, IHTSDO hopes to increase access to standards based solutions that enable the safe exchange of health information.”   Health care providers and others in the 49 countries categorised as low income economies by the World Bank will be able to obtain SNOMED CT affiliate licenses free of charge from the IHTSDO to use the terminology in public health information systems, electronic health records, health research, and other applications as part of the initial phase of a program to expand access to SNOMED CT.  Over half of the countries covered by this initiative are in Africa. The remainder are located in the Asia/Pacific and Americas regions. “This is terrific news for the health of both poor nations and rich nations,” says Dr Sally Stansfield, utive director of the Health Metrics Network.  “In a resolution passed by the World Health Assembly in May 2006, all 192 UN member nations committed to using a common framework and standards for health information systems. Standard terminology is a crucial platform for this Framework. We are delighted by this generous and visionary decision by IHTSDO, which will accelerate progress towards both better information and better health.”

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