Global, News

WHO announces Global Initiative on Digital Health to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the G20 India presidency have announced a new Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH), which will operate as a WHO-managed network and platform with the aim of supporting implementation of WHO’s global digital health strategy.

The GIDH initiative sets out to encourage global partnerships; bringing organisations across the world together to “achieve measurable outcomes” by improving transparency and reporting of digital health resources. It will also look to develop “clear priority-driven investment plans” for digital health transformation; support whole-of-governance approaches in various countries; increase technical and financial support for the next implementation phase of the global strategy on digital health; and facilitate wider knowledge sharing and collaboration on an international scale to further accelerate progress in digital health.

India’s union health minister, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, commented on the launch: “Today was a momentous day 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.”

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, added: “Continued support and collaboration of the G20, development partners and international organisations will be necessary to accomplish together what none of us can do alone. WHO is committed to working with countries to strengthen their capacities and to improve access to quality-assured digital solutions for a healthier, safer, fairer future.”

Last month, WHO and HL7 announced their collaboration to support the adoption of open interoperability standards on a global scale.

Looking at global efforts to augment the role of digital technology in healthcare, we recently explored the role of electronic health records in South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

In other news, The University of Edinburgh recently joined NEURii, a global research collaborative which aims to explore the use of data and digital solutions to enhance approved treatment options for patients – working to predict, prevent, manage and ultimately treat dementia.