The World Health Organization (WHO) and the G20 India presidency announced a new Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH) at the Health Minister’s Meeting of the G20 Summit hosted by the Government of India
The new GIDH initiative will operate as a WHO-managed network and platform to support the implementation of the Global Strategy on Digital Health 2020-2025.
“We thank the G20 countries and the India G20 Presidency for recognising WHO’s unique role and strengths in this area and supporting the establishment of the new GIDH network,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general. “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.”
HE Fahad Aljalajel, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Health, thanked the Indian presidency for continuing the digital health initiative which started during Saudi Arabia's presidency in 2020. Furthermore, he shared his country's experience in digital health transformation and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies such as the SEHA Virtual Hospital.
While recent experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a boost in digital health use, many countries express the need for support to move from product-focused and pilot digital health initiatives to establishing national digital health infrastructure with appropriate governance, policy and a competent health workforce needed to select, maintain and adapt digital health interventions.
The GIDH initiative aims to bring countries and partners together to achieve measurable outcomes by:
• developing clear priority-driven investment plans for digital health transformation;
• improving reporting and transparency of digital health resources;
• facilitating knowledge exchange and collaboration across regions and countries to accelerate progress;
• supporting whole-of-government approaches for digital health governance in countries; and
• increasing technical and financial support to the implementation of the Global Strategy on Digital Health 2020–2025 and its next phase.