Health technologies are tools for health-care providers which are indispensable for effective and efficient prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the importance of health technologies for global health improvement and has expanded its expertise in the field of health technologies with particular emphasis on medical devices.
WHO collaborating centers are institutions which are designated by the WHO Director-General to carry out activities in support of the Organization's program. The Collaborating Centers play an important role in the global support of technologies benefiting health systems in member countries. The 2007 WHO resolution WHA60.29 calls for the effective use of health technologies, in particular medical devices, through proper planning, assessment, acquisition and management.
The Technical Services Partnership (TSP) at University of Vermont has a long history of global clinical engineering work. TSP first began working internationally by contributing as American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE) faculty to Advanced Clinical Engineering Workshops in1992 with staff participating in a total of seventeen workshops worldwide. Although offering clinical engineering internships since its inception for University of Vermont students in the area of clinical engineering, it first began implementing international student internships in 2005. In the past fifteen years, over forty interns from Argentina, China, Colombia, India, Peru, Spain, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago have been trained by TSP’s staff of clinical engineers. Through a grant from the Pan American Health Organization’s foundation, bilingual BMET and HTM online courses have been developed which have been taken by over 1000 students from 40 countries. Other contributions by TSP include volunteer mission work on the ground supporting clinical services and training staff in Guatemala, Rwanda, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, and other low and middle income countries. TSP has also contributed to international meetings, conferences, joint publications, and training events on HTM.
In August 2017, the Technical Services Partnership (TSP) was designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Healthcare Technology Management. TSP is the only Collaborating Center in the United States focusing on healthcare technologies. The project work plan is to develop and conduct virtual, online educational courses on healthcare technology, live workshops for clinical engineering and technical training, publications, consulting, and studies in the area of HTM. The TSP team coordinates work to strengthen evidence-based selection and rational use of health technologies with the PAHO, WHO regional office for the Americas, and its HTM other collaborating centers at Instituto de Engenharia Biomédic, Universidad Federal de Santa Catarina (Brazil) and Centro Nacional de Excelencia Tecnológica en Salud, Ministry of Health – CENETEC (Mexico).
J. Tobey Clark and Michael W. Lane are Directors.