Speech by DITS
Following is the Closing Speech by Mr. Alan Wong, Director of Information
Technology Services at the "DO IT! Campaign - IT in Health Forum"
today (July 30):
Professor TSUI, Dr. TANG, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is my great honour to be invited to speak at the Closing Ceremony of
the IT in Health Forum, which is organized under the aegis of the DO IT!
Campaign. This Forum is unprecedented for two reasons. Firstly, it is
jointly organized by the IT sector and the health sector involving the
leaders of both sectors. Secondly, we have never seen so many distinguished
speakers from Hong Kong and overseas who individually are experts in public
health, disease control or information technology in the same forum. Credit
should go to the Department of Health and the Internet Professionals Association
of the DO IT! Coalition. Without their thoughtfulness, meticulous planning
and well-controlled execution, the event would not have been so informative,
stimulating and successful.
I am sure that information and communication technologies can help a lot
in public health, telemedicine, medical education, health record keeping,
bio-informatics, health resource planning and data mining for disease
prevention or research purposes, etc. IT can definitely help in disease
surveillance, tracking and control. No, I would not say more about these
applications in the presence of so many experts in medical informatics.
Suffice it to say that through the cooperation and knowledge sharing of
health and IT professionals we should be able to do a better job in disease
prevention and control, delivery of medical services through better utilization
of scarce resources and improved communication among different parties,
the discovery of new drugs or clinical practices and of course, medical
and health education.
We would not be able to exploit the potential of IT if the computers do
not talk to each other, so to speak. Knowledge sharing, and for that purpose,
data communication, requires that the computer systems are interoperable.
Last November, my department launched the Interoperability Framework.
The Framework contains the technical and data specifications that facilitate
the seamless integration and interconnection of government applications
and their public interfaces. The Government would encourage the adoption
of such technologies to facilitate data sharing and exchange as well as
data mining in various fields, including of course the health sector in
our society. Consequently, these technologies can help in health information
capture, analysis, dissemination, tracking of infections, exchange of
information and experience sharing among the respective health care and
disease control agencies, and also in the collaboration of neighboring
On the Government side, we are committed to supporting the development
of innovative technologies in the health sector and the society generally.
Under the Innovation and Technology Fund, 58 projects relating to Biotechnology
and Chinese Medicine have been approved with a total amount of $172 million
up to May 2003. Some of these projects involved the development of new
technology that is recognized as breakthroughs in the relevant field.
I wish to take this opportunity to bring you up to date on the DO IT!
Campaign. It is very encouraging to see that the "DO IT! Small Enterprises
Support Scheme" has received an overwhelming response with more than
5,000 applications. Some 2,100 successful applicants will each be able
to acquire a brand new personal computer with operating system and office
automation tools at a minimal price of HK$888. About 1,800 personal computers
are being delivered to the successful applicants and I expect the whole
scheme to complete soon. The Scheme would certainly help those benefited
SMEs jumpstart their IT adoption.
Once again, I sincerely thank the organizers and those who have contributed
to this DO IT! Campaign, in particular those in this IT in Health Forum.
Now, the Campaign is coming to the final stage while its benefit to Hong
Kong is going to commence.
End/Wednesday, July 30, 2003