FW: Launch of first SMART Guideline and comment in Lancet Digital Health: WHO SMART guidelines: optimising country-level use of guideline recommendations in the digital age

Nandita Thatte

Dear IBP Colleagues,


Please the newly launched SMART Guidelines from WHO. The first set of SMART Guidelines are the new WHO Antenatal Care SMART Guidelines.  Additional information below.





Today WHO launched its first SMART Guideline to accelerate the availability and impact of WHO health and data recommendations within digital systems at the country level. 


The first set of SMART Guidelines support a key WHO priority: improving maternal health and well-being, with the new WHO Antenatal Care SMART Guidelines now available on the WHO ANC Portal They include a Digital Adaptation Kit, an implementation guide for machine-readable recommendations, and a WHO digital ANC module for health care providers.


SMART Guidelines for HIV, STIs, immunization, family planning, child health and humanitarian emergencies are in development and will be released later this year. 


The SMART Guideline programme of work is led by the Science Division and overseen by the Department of Digital health and innovation in partnership with the Department of Quality Assurance of Norms and Standards, and supported by the Division of Data, Analytics and Delivery for Impact. The application of the SMART guidelines approach to WHO Antenatal Care is led by the WHO Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research including the UN cosponsored Special Research Programme in Human Reproduction (HRP).


The following have been published in support of this landmark digital health effort: 


Web story           From paper to digital pathway: WHO launches first ‘SMART Guidelines’

Short URL            http://bit.ly/3qKKJo9


Comment            Lancet Digital Health 

Title                       WHO SMART guidelines: optimising country-level use of guideline recommendations in the digital age

Short URL            https://bit.ly/3jYYCMA

Authors                Garrett Mehl, Özge Tunçalp, Natschja Ratanaprayul, Tigest Tamrat, María Barreix, David Lowrance, Kidist Bartolomeos, Lale Say, Nenad Kostanjsek, Robert Jakob, John Grove, Bernardo Mariano Jr, Soumya Swaminathan


About SMART    http://bit.ly/2OOqlEq


Hashtags             #DigitalHealth #MaternalHealth #Antenatal #Digital #SRHR    

Handles               @WHO @WHOAFRO @HRPResearch  @doctorsoumya @IanAskew_HRP @otuncalp @garrett_mehl @mariacbx @natschjatweets @LancetDigitalH @TigestT@BMarianoJr @laleesay @kidistb @GroveJohn


Social media kit and infographics attached, or use suggested tweets: 


WHO introduces SMART Guidelines, a pioneering approach to adapting and applying global health and data recommendations to every countries’ existing – and evolving – #DigitalHealth system: http://bit.ly/3qKKJo9


All women have a right to the best possible physical, emotional, and psychological outcomes of #pregnancy. The new @WHO SMART #Antenatal Care Guidelines help make global #MaternalHealth guidance more effective in the #digital age: http://bit.ly/3qKKJo9


#Digital tools have huge potential to strengthen #qualitycare and accelerate progress towards national health goals and #SDGs. In @LancetDigitalH, @WHO sets out a vision for SMART guidelines and calls for partners: https://bit.ly/3jYYCMA


Lancet Digital Health excerpt: SMART guidelines offer a pioneering approach towards a systematic, transparent, and testable pathway from narrative global guidelines to localised digital systems at the country level. This approach will facilitate systematic development, curation, and representation of recommendations (data, clinical, public health) in operational, software-neutral interoperable standards; improve global access to software and systems that interoperate across care pathways, facilities, and providers; enforce transparency and traceability of content; and enable pathways for validation of digital solutions. WHO recognises the complexity and comprehensiveness of the systemic change needed and will continue to develop evidence-based guidelines, now augmented with SMART guideline content, for country-level localisation across all knowledge layers. SMART guidelines will be vital to digital health systems transformation, and attainment of universal health coverage and UN Sustainable Development Goals. WHO invites all partners to help deliver this vision.




Garrett Mehl, PhD, MHS
Unit Head, Digital Health Technology, Department of Digital Health and Innovation 
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
Geneva 1211



Nandita Thatte, DrPH

Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health

World Health Organization

Geneva, Switzerland

Email: thatten@...




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