Health minister Introduces WHO Managed Network 'Global Initiative on Digital Health'

India Pharma Outlook Team | Monday, 21 August 2023

 India Pharma Outlook Team

Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, launched the 'Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH) - a WHO Managed Network' in the presence of Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organisation. "Today is a watershed moment in the history of the G20 Health Working Group, wherein G20 countries not only identified a priority for its relevance, but collectively worked towards its launch," he said during his keynote address at the G20 Health Ministers' Meeting on "Digital Health Innovation & Solutions to Aid Universal Health Coverage and Improve Healthcare Service Delivery."

The Global Initiative for Digital Health (GIDH) will consolidate evidence and amplify recent and past gains in global digital health for health systems, while strengthening mutual accountability to maximise the impact of future investments. Through a focus on four foundational pillars, it will be a WHO Managed Network ("Network of Networks") that will promote equitable access to digital health by addressing challenges such as duplication of efforts and "products-focused" digital health transformation.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General, World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the GIDH is an integrative step that fosters equity in healthcare by converging efforts and best practises. It will amplify our efforts by incorporating tools such as AI while emphasising ethics, policy, and governance. "Improving global healthcare is not something we can do alone." "By not leaving anyone behind, the GIDH will ensure inclusivity, integration, and alignment of our goals," he added. He stated that the power of digital health technologies such as telemedicine and AI has had a significant impact on the world over the last two decades. "Over the last two decades, digital technology's power and capacity have grown at an unprecedented rate."

"During Covid-19, the potential and successful implementation of technology during times of severe healthcare disruptions was evident in the form of telemedicine usages," he said. Underscoring the importance of convergence approach to integrate disparate systems under an integrated digital health ecosystem umbrella, Sudhansh Pant, Union Health Secretary highlighted India’s mammoth effort for establishing a comprehensive digital health ecosystem through the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

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