Gandhinagar: In a significant move aimed at advancing global digital health and promoting equitable access to healthcare, India’s Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, unveiled the Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH) during G20 meeting in Gandhinagar. The GIDH, managed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), seeks to consolidate evidence and amplify the progress made in the field of global digital health.
This initiative comes at a crucial juncture as nations worldwide increasingly recognise the potential of digital technology to transform healthcare delivery. One of the primary goals of GIDH is to address challenges such as duplication of efforts and a narrow focus on products in the realm of digital health transformation. By pooling resources, knowledge, and experiences, the GIDH intends to create a more integrated and efficient global digital health landscape.
The GIDH’s core components will be developed through a transparent and inclusive process, leveraging existing evidence, tools, and best practises. Its overarching objective is to align with the ongoing WHO project, the Global Strategy on Digital Health 2020–2025. This alignment will support quality-assured technical assistance to establish standards-based and interoperable healthcare systems in line with global standards.
In his keynote address, Minister Mansukh Mandaviya emphasised India’s role in developing a national digital health architecture that promotes interoperability and strengthens health systems. This approach is a testament to India’s commitment to digital health transformation and its dedication to sharing valuable lessons with the international community.
Sudhansh Pant, the Health Secretary, stressed the importance of a convergence approach, bringing together disparate systems under a unified digital health ecosystem. He highlighted India’s significant efforts in this regard through the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission and expressed the nation’s willingness to share its experiences to prevent reinventing the wheel.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, underlined the integrative nature of the GIDH, which fosters equity in healthcare by harmonising efforts and sharing best practises. He emphasised that the GIDH would harness cutting-edge tools like artificial intelligence (AI) while giving due importance to ethical considerations, policy formulation, and governance.