Launch of Accessible Standards for Telehealth Services


The Minister for Disability, Anne Rabbitte, welcomed the launch of the new global standard for Accessibility of Telehealth services. This new standard was developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and is being launched at the 15th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Dr. Ger Craddock, Chief Officer of the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design within the National Disability Authority, will be speaking at the launch, outlining the Irish perspective on need and use of telehealth standards to ensure equitable access for all members of society.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth services has increased substantially in Ireland and many other countries. The WHO believe this will improve access to quality and cost-effective health services for patients regardless of their location, particularly for those who live in remote areas and for marginalised populations.

The WHO and the ITU have jointly developed a global standard for accessibility of telehealth services. This standard provides a list of technical requirements that telehealth platforms must have to ensure accessible telehealth service provision.

Minister Rabbitte said, “I warmly welcome the launch of these standards. It is so important that people with disabilities and their families are not left behind when new ways of delivering services are rolled out across our society, nationally and internationally.\”

\”These standards can play a key part of delivering on the government’s Digital Strategy which was launched earlier this year by the Taoiseach. As Minister for Disabilities, I will work with my officials on engaging with the relevant bodies such as the HSE to make sure that these standards become part of the roll-out of telehealth and care services.\”

The development of these standards also aligns with the Irish Government’s Digital Ireland Framework which was launched in February this year to help to maximise the wellbeing of Irish people and their businesses.

The framework is expected to help Ireland fully realise many of the benefits of moving towards a more digital society including more flexible and remote working and new job opportunities; new markets and customers for businesses; more efficient and accessible public services for all; and empowerment and choice in how we learn or participate in social activities.

The government is committed to ensure these benefits are achieved by ensuring widespread access and use of inclusive digital public services, with a target of 90% of services to be consumed online by 2030.


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