Transform Health is a global coalition of organizations dedicated to achieving health for all in the digital age.
Transform Health was formed in 2018 by a group of organizations who saw the need for a concerted, long-term effort to harness the transformative benefits of digital technology and data to achieve the SDG target of Universal Health Coverage (UHC by 2030). Its seven founding partners are Fondation Botnar, Joep Lange Institute, Medicus Mundi Switzerland, PATH, PharmAccess Foundation, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Women Deliver.
Transform Health campaigns and collaborates with the individuals, communities, governments, organizations and institutions that are most affected by the lack of access to equitable, affordable and high-quality healthcare. We are committed to promoting the perspectives and leadership of youth, women and marginalized groups in all aspects of our work.
Why Digital Health?
In 2015, United Nations Member States pledged to achieve UHC by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Although some progress has been made, almost 4 billion people globally still lack access to essential health services. On current trends only about half of the global population will benefit from UHC by 2030.
If progress towards UHC is not accelerated, billions of people will continue to be subject to poor, unreliable and unaffordable health services. In the digital age, technology and data offer us a window of opportunity to tackle these health system challenges. Unfortunately, these opportunities are currently limited by weak health systems, inequitable coverage of health services and lack of political will. The lack of involvement and consideration of key communities – such as young people, women, and marginalized groups – in the design, use and governance of digital technologies and data – is further contributing to the equity gap.
What Is Digital Health?
Digital Health is the use of technology and data in the provision of healthcare. Digital health can be used to refer to a wide spectrum of healthcare innovations, from mobile health (mHealth) apps, digitization of patient records and personalized medicine, to artificial intelligence in healthcare, wearable gadgets and ingestible sensors.
The use of digital health and data have the potential to accelerate the quality and coverage of health services, make primary health care (PHC) systems more resilient and effective, and give patients more control over their health. With digital health technologies, patients will have access to reliable healthcare information and services through only their phones. COVID-19 has shown the importance of sharing health data and adopting digital technologies for health in many countries. When used equitably and ethically, digital health offers an unprecedented possibility to improve global health and well-being and achieve UHC 2030.
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) will be achieved by 2030 by harnessing digital technology and the use of data.
To build a global movement that brings together organizations and institutions across sectors who are committed to achieving UHC within the next ten years by expanding the use of digital technology and increasing access to data.
Everyone has access to equitable, affordable, and high-quality healthcare.
Everyone can benefit from sustainable primary health care (PHC) which is the foundation of UHC.
Everyone is able to make better decisions about their personal health using real-time health information and their own, protected health data.
Health workers are able and empowered to improve the efficiency and capacity of health systems, using digital technology and health data to take more precise and effective action, to improve service delivery and strengthen overall health systems to ensure better public and individual health outcomes.
Researchers are able to access & use health data for research purposes that will improve public health.
Everyone is aware of and able to exercise their rights to own and access their own data to improve their own health.
Everyone should have access to equitable, affordable, and high-quality healthcare.
Everyone should be able to make better decisions about their personal health using real-time health information and their own, protected health data.
Everyone should be aware of and able to exercise their rights in relation to digital technologies and their own data.
Everyone should be included in the design, use and governance of digital approaches that may affect their health and well-being.
Individuals and organizations should work together to ensure people are able to control their own data and achieve better health outcomes for themselves and their communities.
What Are We Calling For?
We are calling on decision-makers to recognize the fundamental role of digital technologies and data use to transform and expand PHC as an essential foundation for achieving UHC.
Stronger political will and leadership is essential for creating an effective digital health ecosystem that prioritizes PHC and principles such as equity, inclusion and human rights.
We are calling on more political leaders, technology developers and digital health partners to demonstrate their commitment to this issue and to work together to implement national digital health strategies that respond to the needs and perspectives of youth, women and marginalized communities.
We are calling for a global health data governance framework to allow for meaningful and trustworthy use of health data, while safeguarding data privacy, ownership and security.
The way the world governs health data and data for health has never been more pivotal than it is in this digital age. To create an environment where all people and institutions can share, use, and benefit from data, an inclusive and collaboratively developed global framework for governance of health data is needed.
We are calling for a global governance framework that realizes health data as a global public good whilst protecting individual rights.
We are calling for increased domestic and international financial investments in strengthening digitally-enabled PHC systems and empowered communities to achieve UHC by 2030.
We are working to develop a fully-costed plan for acceleration of digital transformation in all low-and middle-income countries, building on their national plans.
With just ten years left to achieve UHC, we are calling on national governments and international donors to increase their investments in equitable, digitally-enabled primary healthcare, and to increase the digital literacy of youth, women and marginalized groups.
How We Work
Network Governance Model
Transform Health operates on a network governance model organized around different circles that fulfil specific functions. To get involved with the Coalition, partners join one of these Circles and participate in its activities. These working circles are represented by coalition partners and consist of the following:
The G&S Circle sets the overall strategy of the Coalition, and occupies a similar function as the Board of Directors for the Coalition.
The Campaign Circle drives and coordinates Transform Health’s campaigning and advocacy activities at national, regional and global levels.
The Data Policy Circle provides thought leadership for the Coalition, particularly on how to strengthen global and national health data governance frameworks to enable equitable, meaningful and trustworthy health data management.
The Resource and Investment circle convenes investors and key stakeholders with the end goal of increasing domestic and international investments for digital health transformation.
The Network & Engagement Circle is responsible for guiding Transform Health in strategic engagement issues so that it can build and sustain the partnerships necessary for a strong and effective global movement.
The Enabling Function serves as the logistical and organizational backbone of the Coalition. It facilitates coordinated action across the Coalition, overseeing day-to-day operation guided by the vision, strategy and by supporting aligned activities.
Country Campaign Platforms
In the next three years, the Coalition will establish country campaign platforms in at least six low and middle income countries to engage multiple stakeholders on the issues and to empower marginalized communities and their representatives and to provide them with a platform through which they can engage their governments and donors and call on them to prioritize the equitable adoption of digital technology to enable them to access UHC.
Young Experts: Tech 4 Health (YET4H)
YET4H is an independent Youth Council that contributes to all aspects of Transform Health’s work through strategic guidance and technical inputs. It is composed of 12 experts in policy and advocacy, health, digital technology and youth engagement between ages 18-30. Members actively engage in network governance and co-lead working circles. Follow them on Twitter or Instagram and visit their website.