Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cuban conference on Health Informatics

The theme of the International Congress on Health Informatics in Havana is "health information and communication technology, a reality today, an opportunity for the future."

The program is divided into the following topic areas: computing, society and health; knowledge management, education and health information; new information technologies and clinical practice; Internet, networks and telemedicine; and Information and nursing procedures.

The papers are all on line (bravo), and I did searches of the titles looking for the words Internet, red, and Alba. Four papers have the word red in the title, two have the word Internet and none have the word Alba.

It is a pity that Cuban medical professionals do not have easy access to colleagues and information around the world and vice versa. As I've stated earlier, health care, education and research should be high-priority candidates for high speed connectivity to the undersea cable. The opportunity for the future is great; today's reality is not.


  1. Hi Larry,

    I think you will find this post interesting:

    This blog is written by a BBC reporter that has been living in Cuba for a few decades.

    By the way, the event "Informatica" used to be open for cuban nationals with a registration fee in Cuban pesos for cubans, but a friend of mine tried to register this year and he was told that prices now are in Cuban convertibles only (see here, which means that the registration fee became prohibitively expensive for "normal" cubans (note: 1 cuban convertible = 25 cuban pesos = 0.9 USD).

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks for the link to Letters from Cuba -- I will follow him. The post is a sad commentary. Do you agree that connectivity is getting worse with time?

      I attended Informatica twice -- gave talks and met people -- in the 1990s. At that time, it was small, friendly and enthusiastic. The people from Ceniai, Etecsa, Infomed, the YCC, etc were open and happy to meet with a US professor like me. The government still had not noticed the Internet -- it was "under the radar."

      (That reminds me of an even earlier event -- the Soviet coup attempt of August 1991. During that week, RELCOM, a Russian UUCP network kept Usenet news flowing within Russia and between Russia and the west. I was involved peripherally and wrote about the role of the net afterword. This quote, by RELCOM staff member Polina Antonova sums up the "invisibility" of RELCOM:

      "They try to close all mass media, they stopped CNN an hour ago, and Soviet TV transmits opera and old movies. But, thank Heaven, they don't consider RELCOM mass media or they simply forgot about it.  Now we transmit information enough to put us in prison for the rest of our life").

    3. Interesting anecdote! You have so many stories to tell, maybe you should write a book collecting them.

      I have attended a few Informatica events since High-school back in the nineties. It was a bit shocking for me to learn that Cubans are not welcome anymore.

      About connectivity in Cuba getting worse, it's definitely true.

    4. Well, I did not write a book, but I posted some old photos from Informatica 1992 -- over twenty years ago!


Real Time Analytics