On August 19, 2023, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) announced a new initiative to operationalize the implementation of the Global Strategy on Digital Health 2020-2025 and to further enable digital health system transformation. The Global Initiative on Digital Health (“GIDH”) is a WHO managed network of stakeholders organized to facilitate the implementation of WHO norms and standards for digital health system transformation and to enable a global ecosystem to promote country capacity and strengthen international cooperation in digital health. The GIDH aims to amplify recent and past gains in global digital health while strengthening mutual accountability to enhance the impact of future investments.

Released in 2021, the Global Strategy on Digital Health 2020-2025 (“the Global Strategy”) was published to guide member states’ efforts to strengthen health systems through the application of digital health technologies for consumers and other health care system actors. The Global Strategy established four strategic objectives to guide member states towards the sustainable adoption of digital health technologies:

  • promote global collaboration and advance the transfer of knowledge on digital health;
  • advance the implementation of national digital health strategies;
  • strengthen governance for digital health at global, regional, and national levels; and
  • advocate people-centered health systems that are enabled by digital health. To implement the strategic objectives, the Global Strategy also proposed policy recommendations and established a framework to provide a structure for action and tools for collaboration.

The GIDH will prioritize several core areas of work and will specifically focus on four foundational pillars:

  • Country Needs Tracker: The GIDH will create a tracker to ensure digital health investments are informed by country priorities;
  • Country Resource Portal: The GIDH will work to identify traditional and innovative resource opportunities, enhance transparency and reduce risk of duplication, and enable a standards-based prospective and retrospective analysis of resourcing gaps in digital health;
  • Transformation Toolbox: The GIDH will identifyquality-assured tools and resources that strengthen country capacity and autonomy to manage their national digital health transformation journey; and
  • Convening and Knowledge Exchange: The GIDH will promote strengthened collaboration and knowledge exchange across global, regional, and national networks in digital health.

In addition, the GIDH will work to address variability in the quality of digital solutions and emerging technologies related to standards, data privacy, security, and interoperability by amplifying identified best practices, open standards, and quality-assured building blocks.

The GIDH identifies future expected outcomes including 1) to increase transparency and alignment on availability and reporting of digital health resources and unfunded priorities and 2) to improve alignment and collaboration on standards based and technical assistance between countries to support national digital health transformation.

The GIDH contains guidelines for international governance structures and proposals to enable digital health solutions. The Global Strategy proposes policy recommendations, including for stakeholders, to scale up and accelerate progress on digital health innovation. They may be helpful to inform organizations’ internal policies on digital health technologies and compliance with international regulatory frameworks. In members states participating in GIDH, the initiative may provide an opportunity for organizations to engage with government and to inform policies on digital health.

International and nation-specific developments in digital health will likely continue with the accelerated development of artificial intelligence in health care and innovative digital health technologies. Follow Crowell Health Solutions’ Trends in Transformation blog for the latest updates and analysis.

Print:
Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Jodi G. Daniel Jodi G. Daniel

Jodi Daniel is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Health Care Group and a member of the group’s Steering Committee. She is also a director at C&M International (CMI), an international policy and regulatory affairs consulting firm affiliated with Crowell & Moring. She…

Jodi Daniel is a partner in Crowell & Moring’s Health Care Group and a member of the group’s Steering Committee. She is also a director at C&M International (CMI), an international policy and regulatory affairs consulting firm affiliated with Crowell & Moring. She leads the firm’s Digital Health Practice and provides strategic, legal, and policy advice to all types of health care and technology clients navigating the dynamic regulatory environment related to technology in the health care sector to help them achieve their business goals. Jodi is a contributor to the Uniform Law Commission Telehealth Committee, which drafts and proposes uniform state laws related to telehealth services, including the definition of telehealth, formation of the doctor-patient relationship via telehealth, creation of a registry for out-of-state physicians, insurance coverage and payment parity, and administrative barriers to entity formation.

Photo of Adrienne Mendenhall Adrienne Mendenhall

Adrienne Mendenhall works toward improving human health, on projects spanning sectors and industries. Her expertise and passion enable collaboration and innovation in the fields of climate change, global health, and financial inclusion.

With a background in public health and clinical care settings, Adrienne

Adrienne Mendenhall works toward improving human health, on projects spanning sectors and industries. Her expertise and passion enable collaboration and innovation in the fields of climate change, global health, and financial inclusion.

With a background in public health and clinical care settings, Adrienne works to forge new partnerships that increase access to high-quality, affordable care. She applies a patient- and community centered approach to her work with industry, government, and development organizations. Focusing on the nuanced determinants of health and healthcare access, she explores the complex dynamics that underlie health policy and influence decision making—from communities to national health systems.

Adrienne specializes in conceiving strategy, building networks, devising and launching novel platforms for advocacy and innovation, and developing messaging that resonates with a diverse range of audiences. She advises governments, life science organizations, and technology companies on the use of data and technology for universal health coverage; on creating an enabling regulatory environment; and on designing and launching innovation programs. She has advised on the role of central banks in innovative health financing and has created forums for inter-governmental coordination that strengthens health systems and promotes health equity. With an emphasis on aging and healthy longevity, financing, health services, digital health, and the impacts of urban design and climate change on health, she brings an understanding of community needs to global health challenges.

Photo of Allison Kwon Allison Kwon

Allison Kwon supports Crowell Health Solutions, a strategic consulting firm affiliated with Crowell & Moring, to help clients pursue and deliver innovative alternatives to the traditional approaches of providing and paying for health care, including through digital health, health equity, and value-based health…

Allison Kwon supports Crowell Health Solutions, a strategic consulting firm affiliated with Crowell & Moring, to help clients pursue and deliver innovative alternatives to the traditional approaches of providing and paying for health care, including through digital health, health equity, and value-based health care. She is a health care policy consultant in the Washington, D.C. office.