Dialog and Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka to establish 'Digital Health Innovation Laboratory'

18 November 2019         Colombo



(L-R) Dr. Rohana Basil Marasinghe, President, Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka, Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake, Past President, Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka and Chairman, Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health, Supun Weerasinghe, Group Chief Executive, Dialog Axiata PLC, Pradeep De Almeida, Group Chief Technology Officer, Dialog Axiata PLC, and Indika Walpitage, Vice President - Network Operations and Service Assurance, Dialog Axiata PLC.

Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider partnered with Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka (HISSL), to establish a ‘Digital Health Innovation Laboratory’, the first of its kind in the country, to incubate innovative digital solutions for the healthcare sector.

The primary goal of the proposed laboratory is the development of new technology based “digital” products and services in healthcare to uplift the living standards across communities through research, development and commercialisation of its output. The secondary objectives include, providing a Centre of Excellence and an Innovation Hub to promote digital health solutions and the professional development of medical and engineering disciplines with regards to digital health, through the promotion and sharing of knowledge, technology know-how and experience; while removing barriers for collaboration between academia and the private sector, and streamlining policy and healthcare sector innovations in the process.

Some of the research areas and emerging technologies that will be explored by the laboratory will include Internet of Medical Things, Genomics and Bioinformatics, Point of Care Biomarker Systems, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and Blockchain in the context of new product development for the healthcare sector of Sr Lanka. As such the Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka, the professional organization of the health and medical informaticians will bring in the medical expertise, while Dialog Axiata PLC, the leading technological enabler in the country, will power the proposed research laboratory with its advanced technological capabilities.

Commenting on the partnership, Indika Walpitage, Vice President of Network Operations and Service Assurance at Dialog Axiata PLC said, “We are pleased to partner with the Health Informatics Society of Sri Lanka to establish ‘Digital Health Innovation Laboratory’, a proud first in Sri Lanka, to develop solutions to connect life sciences to the point-of-care and enable accessible and affordable health care across communities. The exceptionally powerful core competencies of both parties are poised to lead Sri Lanka’s healthcare sector into a health-tech revolution, through the digitisation of health care systems, which will eliminate variations in care and transform the patient experience through truly predictive, personalised, and preventive healthcare services.”

Making his comments on behalf of HISSL, Prof. Vajira H. W. Dissanayake said, “HISSL has been promoting frugal innovation in the digital health space for the past decade. The national health service has benefited from these innovations. We now see the need to speed up innovation to enable health services to be delivered in the community and at home rather than at health care institutions. The digital health innovation lab that we set up would enable us to do that”