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Have you ever wondered about what might happen if you needed urgent medical care while abroad? While science and technology have greatly advanced healthcare all over the world, there is still one unfortunate problem that could hold back this progress – the lack of interoperability between patient data sets. There is currently significant variability within and across nations with respect to computable health data and how it is represented and used for healthcare.

At a recent meeting, the G7 Health Ministers committed to adopting a standardized minimum health data set for patient’s health information. This will facilitate health compatibility and interoperability within and between countries and can enable the patient to access health data, based on the principle of informed consent or patient permission.

In relation to digital health, the ability of healthcare systems to work together using common Standards is critical to the safe, effective and efficient use of technology in health and care.  The newly published ISO standard for the International Patient Summary, ISO  27269:2021 will greatly help with the future efforts of G7 Ministers to bring interoperability to international healthcare.

This Standard defines a core data set for a patient summary document that would support continuity of care for a person and co-ordination for their planned healthcare.  Use of this Standard can assist in planning patient care between different organizations and more specifically to support for “unplanned cross border care”.  It provides a well-defined minimal core set of data items.  Use of this standardized data set can assist with interoperability of patient data, thereby better enabling both planned and unplanned care within local, national, and cross border context.  The overall result is better delivery of healthcare to patients.

During the meeting of the G7 Health Ministers, the importance of this collaboration on health issues was reaffirmed, particularly in the face of a global pandemic.  The Ministers also committed to a number of strategic priorities, including digital health, global health security, clinical trials and antimicrobial resistance.


You can search and access Standards from the NSAI catalogue here.

For more information on Health Informatics Standards, contact