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Home : ITU-D : ICT Applications and Cybersecurity Division : ICT Applications

ITU-T Study Groups on e-Health

  • e-Health and Standardization (ITU-T Study Group 16: Multimedia terminals, systems and ubiquitous applications)

Within the Standardization Sector, Study Group 16 leads the work on multimedia terminals, systems and ubiquitous applications, such as e-health and e-business. SG16 is active in all aspects of multimedia standardization, including terminals, architecture, protocols, security, mobility, interworking and quality of service. The area of e-health applications is studied under Question 28/16 on Multimedia framework for e-health applications.

Access to high quality digital diagnostics data and images in a fast and secured manner is crucial for healthcare professionals. SG16, in collaboration with ISO/IEC's JPEG and MPEG groups, has developed a Recommendation for a video compression standard known asH.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC). This standard has facilitated the development of high quality multimedia applications such as videophone, videoconferencing, and Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) for wireless and mobile networks, which can be used for diverse mHealth applications.

ITU-T Recommendation H.323 provides a cornerstone foundation for audio, video, and data communications over packet-based networks. H.323 is successfully used for communication between users over wired and wireless links, including satellite and microwave links, and is particularly useful for developing countries, where wireless networks are a more cost effective option than wireline networks.

One of SG16’s tasks is to continuously extend and improve existing Recommendations on multimedia systems, such as H.323 and H.264.


  • e-Health and Standardization (ITU-T Study Group 17: Multimedia terminals, systems and ubiquitous applications)

Another key area for the evolution and adoption of e-Health services is security. Currently, telecommunication applications using mobile terminals and Internet services demand authentication methods that not only provide high security but are also convenient for users. Tele-medicine, tele-health and e-health are emerging examples of such applications. As biometric authentication is increasingly used as a form of identification, new challenges have emerged regarding security, safety, and privacy protection.

Within the Standardization Sector, Study Group 17 , under its Question 9/17 leads the work on telebiometrics, aiming, among other objectives, to study and develop requirements for appropriate generic protocols providing safety, security, privacy protection and consent for “manipulating biometric data” in telebiometric applications, such as e-Health and telemedicine.


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Updated : 2009-05-26