WHO releases first ‘SMART Guideline’ for health systems digitalisation

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched its first SMART Guideline, as part of the effort to accelerate the availability and impact of WHO health and data recommendations within digital systems at the national level, starting with antenatal care. ‘SMART’ stands for Standards-based, Machine-readable, Adaptive, Requirements-based, and Testable. The guideline will support guideline developers, policymakers, technology teams, and health workers through the process of adapting and applying WHO global health and data recommendations to countries’ digital systems. Recognising the complexity of the digital adaptation journey for health systems, facilities, and providers, the guideline is divided into five ‘knowledge layers’ which provide a systematic, transparent, and testable structure for countries to work through. This ensures guidance is translated into effective and interoperable digital systems that are fully able to connect, communicate, and share with any other device or digital platform. The SMART guideline content is software-neutral, which means it can be adapted into whichever software platform a country has chosen to use.