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Mandaviya Launches 'Global Initiative on Digital Health' To Unify Global Activities

Written by : Jayati Dubey

August 21, 2023

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The initiative seeks to address challenges stemming from redundant efforts and focusing on individual products in the digital health transformation by consolidating evidence and fostering collaboration among various stakeholders.

In a significant step towards advancing global healthcare, Mansukh Mandaviya, the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, inaugurated the 'Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH),' a network managed by the World Health Organization (WHO), during the G20 health ministers' meeting held in Gandhinagar, Gujarat.'¯

The GIDH initiative aims to unify efforts in the digital health domain to enhance health systems globally. By consolidating evidence and promoting collaboration among stakeholders, the initiative aims to overcome challenges related to duplicative efforts and a product-centric approach to digital health transformation.'¯

The WHO-managed network seeks to ensure equitable access to digital health technologies while emphasising ethical considerations and governance.

The event was attended by Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general, WHO.

Dr. Ghebreyesus echoed the integrative nature of GIDH, characterising it as a significant stride toward healthcare equity by converging best practices and tools like artificial intelligence. He stressed the importance of global inclusivity and alignment of goals, underscoring the rapid evolution of digital technology's capabilities over the past decades.'¯

Dr. Ghebreyesus acknowledged the pivotal role played by digital health technologies, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, exemplified by the increased utilisation of telemedicine.

Speaking at the event, Mandaviya highlighted the current proliferation of digital health programs globally, particularly those focussed on specific health areas. However, he emphasised that these siloed approaches lead to inefficiencies and a lack of interoperability, burdening healthcare workers. Mandaviya underlined India's experience in developing a national digital health architecture and its role in driving interoperability and efficiency in the field.

The Introduction of Outcome Document

As a culmination of the G20 health ministers' meeting, the participating countries unanimously adopted an 'outcome document.' This document outlines the commitment of G20 nations to strengthen the global health framework and foster resilient, equitable, and sustainable health systems.'¯

The objective is to effectively tackle existing health challenges and future public health emergencies. A central tenet of the strategy is ensuring equal access to quality medical resources, mainly focusing on low and middle-income countries and small island developing states.

Integral to this comprehensive approach is the recognition of digital health's significance and the modernisation of health data. The G20 nations acknowledge the transformative role of digital health solutions in enhancing healthcare systems and promoting equitable service distribution. These advancements enable features such as electronic health records, real-time public health monitoring, personalised care, and more.

The launch of the GIDH initiative and the adoption of the outcome document reflect a collective determination among G20 nations to advance global health by embracing technology and fostering collaboration.


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