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Technology: WHO applauds India’s successful adoption of digital health tech

Technology: WHO applauds India’s successful adoption of digital health tech


Virendra Pandit 


New Delhi: World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday applauded India’s successful adoption of digital health technologies, saying it can provide lessons for accelerating the progress toward universal health coverage for all countries.

It is important to achieve a level-playing field and ensure these technologies are available widely for all countries, Dr. Alain Labrique, Director at the Department of Digital Health and Innovation at WHO, said, while addressing a session on “Digital Health Innovations and Solutions to Aid Universal Health Coverage and Improve Healthcare Service Delivery” on the second day of the third G-20 Health Working Group meeting in Hyderabad.

“When we talk about digital health, we are talking about strengthening primary health care systems, improving universal health coverage, and timely and relevant data for decision making and resource allocation. Most importantly, we are talking about equity so that no one is left behind. Digital health is a proven pathway to achieve universal health goals,” he said, according to media reports.

On India’s G-20 presidency, especially in the context of digital health, Dr. Labrique said this group could build on India’s long leadership in the space of digital innovation and leveraging digital technologies to achieve health for all.

He said the digital health transformation can help the services reach the last mile with quality-assured technologies that can deliver the services that people expect from their governments.

The world is on the verge of an important digital health revolution, wherein, post-pandemic, the appetite for investing in digital technology is greater than ever.

“The time is now to learn from successes like India and its neighbors to apply those lessons and accelerate the progress towards universal health coverage and amplify the capacity of digital tools to achieve these goals,” he said.

Highlighting the relevance and importance of digital health, he said the pandemic galvanized many governments to move from digital experimentation to digital transformation.

The global initiative on digital health levels the playing field, optimizing investments, democratizing access to the building blocks, and improving the responsiveness that the country needs.

He emphasized that the digitalization of global health systems is inevitable.

Underlining its ramifications, he said, “Whether it happens in a way that ensures quality, efficiency, equity, and inclusion will depend on whether we as a group move together.”

About the role of India’s G-20 presidency, he said, “We as a group must invest strategically. This will enable the cross-border exchange of credential health information now available to all member states.”


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