LAC Digital Health Network

Towards collaboration, dialogue, and the exchange of knowledge and experiences among the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean to advance the digital transformation in regional health

What is RACSEL?

The Latin American and Caribbean digital health network, hereinafter referred to as RACSEL, is an initiative of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) supported by the Inter-American Development Bank. It is established as a systematic horizontal technical cooperation mechanism through which exchanges are promoted, multiplied, strengthened, and energized, aimed at developing, disseminating, and implementing best practices in digital health to support institutional development processes and their progress in the region.




To promote collaborative work and cooperation in the field of digital health, so that the good practices and results achieved in one country can be leveraged by others, resulting in increased efficiency and effectiveness. This, in turn, leads to an improvement in the quality of healthcare services and overall social growth and well-being.




To be one of the main global networks of cooperation in electronic and digital health, and a reference in the dissemination, promotion, and adoption of standards, through dialogue, coordination, and the exchange of knowledge and experience


April 1st, 2022

Countries of the region collaborate to demonstrate that interoperability and reliable data exchange is possible

The LACPass digital health project seeks to contribute to the digital transformation of health, making it possible for the countries of the region to have online information for data exchange, allowing the generation of a comprehensive strategy to enable the response of Latin American countries to pandemics such as COVID-19 or other similar situations, public health surveillance and telemedicine.

LACPass is a multi-country initiative developed by RACSEL (American Network for Cooperation on Electronic Health) and the IDB (Inter-American Development Bank), which aims to create bridges towards health care for all people in the Latin American region and the Caribbean. The collaboration between the participating countries demonstrates that interoperability in digital health is possible, safe and effective.

RACSEL is a collaboration network to advance the regional digital transformation that follows the guidelines of the World Health Organization for the digital documentation of COVID-19 (DDCC) and the strategic plans of PAHO in the Americas, specifically the sheet of route approved by the countries of the region in September 2021.

Argentina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Paraguay, Suriname, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay are the participating countries that are collaborating closely today to demonstrate that digital transformation in health is possible in the region through joint work.

To this end, the first stage of the LACPass project currently under development has the mission of promoting the exchange of medical data for people who travel through the issuance of digital COVID-19 certificates according to international standards.

By enabling and coordinating technological tools and regional actors, the initiative demonstrates that it is possible to validate COVID-19 data (such as vaccination status or laboratory results) among the countries of the region according to international standards, allowing that Latin America and the Caribbean carry out a secure exchange of data that empowers patients.

This not only makes it possible to face the effects of COVID-19, but also promotes the digital transformation in health and its multiple applications. Thus, the second stage of the project – to be executed during the year 2022 – seeks to make interoperability and data exchange viable for public health surveillance; while the third stage – projected for 2023 – aims to create guidelines to make cross-border telehealth and the use of the international patient summary (IPS) a reality. In all dimensions, the secure exchange of data between countries is a paramount factor.

The president of the Academic Committee of CENS, Steffen Härtel, assures that "it is a project that we want to promote at the Latin American level, with the aim of raising awareness about this issue and thus begin to evolve towards greater maturity in terms of generation of solutions in this context. Interoperability is not only a problem in Chile, but in all of Latin America. It is also a very important issue for the United States and other countries in the world. Probably the region that has made the most progress in this regard is the European Union, which has to make 27 countries talk, which translates into the alignment of 27 different health systems. It's not trivial to get this conversation going, but it can be done."

According to international health informatics standards expert and founding member of RACSEL, Fernando Portila, “in the LACPass project we have a very clear focus, which is interoperability, and at RACSEL we have always sought to exchange information between countries. At first through documents, and now through the COVID-19 digital certificate, which we are going to start doing now.”

Regarding the next steps of the project, Carlos Núñez, Deputy Director of Technology and Projects of CENS, states the objective is "to achieve yes or yes that at least three countries manage to execute a proof of concept, which should be done in May 2022 with the realization of an event that will be called Conectatón. At that time, we will show that interoperability works and could be a reality in the region”.

LACPass has the following strategic partners: PAHO (Pan American Health Organization), HL7 (Health Level 7) and LACChain (Global Alliance for the development of blockchain in Latin America and the Caribbean), in addition to the support of IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) and CENS (National Center for Health Information Systems) in its role as organizer.

The project is currently in the first stage of development and the first results are expected in May of this year.