International Journal of Medical Informatics (IJMI)

Guest Editor: David Novillo-Ortiz, Ph.D., eHealth Coordinator, Pan American Health Organization (Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization)

Guest Co-editor: Francesc Saigí-Rubió, Ph.D., Telemedicine Program Director, Department of Health Science, Open University of Catalonia

More information:


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), available data show that, in spite of the major progress during the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era, major challenges remain in terms of reducing maternal and child mortality, improving nutrition, and achieving further progress in the battle against infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases, and hepatitis. The situation analysis also provides evidence of the importance of addressing non-communicable diseases and their risk factors, such as tobacco use, mental health problems, road traffic injuries, and environmental health issues. Data on water and sanitation and air quality show that much more needs to be done to reduce risks to health. Weak health systems are a major obstacle in many countries, resulting in major deficiencies in universal health coverage for even the most basic health services and in inadequate preparedness for health emergencies. All these challenges are included under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”.

On the other hand, the spread and uptake of information and communications technologies (ICT) have the potential to level the playing field, by reducing some of these challenges and enabling information-sharing that will assist in equalizing these differences. Many ICT systems and devices, initially expensive and of limited dissemination, have become affordable and are widely used across many levels of society. Digital health technologies will play a significant role in achieving the SDGs.

Main theme:

We are soliciting manuscripts for inclusion in a special issue of Health Informatics titled, “The Role of Digital Health to Support the Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” We welcome conceptual or empirical manuscripts with a local, national or international focus on the topic of digital health technologies and the Sustainable Development Goal #3.

We are particularly interested in manuscripts that employ interdisciplinary, intersectional, and/or innovative approaches to the conceptualization and measurement of the use of digital health in the achievement of the SDG #3. It is envisioned that the collection of articles included in this special issue will provide robust support for future directions in the digital health research, advocacy, and policy related to the impact of the SDGs.

The special issue of the International Journal of Medical Informatics will provide a platform for countries to make an analysis of what can be done in the area of digital health since the approval of the SDGs.

Manuscript submission process:

Review will take place in two stages. First, we ask for extended abstracts of 900-1000 words, due December 19, 2016, that provide enough information about the conceptualization and measurement of digital health technologies and SDG #3 for review. We strongly encourage authors to mention: (1) the innovation in their approach to the study of digital health technologies and SDG #3; and (2) how this work will set the stage for future research, advocacy, and/or policy in this area. Authors whose abstracts fall within the scope of the special issue will be invited to submit a full manuscript, due March 31, 2017. Acceptance of abstract does not ensure manuscript acceptance, as all manuscripts will be subject to full editorial board and peer review.

Internal Timeline of activities:
·         Submit abstract: December 19, 2016
·         Internal review abstracts for scope: January 16th
·         Submit full manuscript: March 31, 2017

About International Journal of Medical Informatics – Journal Metrics:

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): 2.068
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): 1.405
Impact Factor: 2.363
5-Year Impact Factor: 2.927

David Novillo Ortiz, MLIS, PhD

Advisor, Digital Health & Knowledge Management
Regional focal point for the WHO eHealth Program

Knowledge Management, Bioethics and Research Department

Pan American Health Organization

Tel. +1 202 974-3060 (Land line)
Tel. +1 202 812 4726 (Mobile line)

HIFA profile: David Novillo-Ortiz is an Advisor, Digital Health & Knowledge Management, and Regional focal point for the WHO eHealth Program with the Pan American Health Organization, USA. Email address: novillod AT