Transform Health’s recommendations for the G20 2024

This statement is issued by Transform Health, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), HealthAI – The Global Agency for Responsible AI in Health, RECAINSA, AeHIN, FIND and PATH.

Transform Health and partners (a coalition of 150+ organisations) welcome the Brazilian presidency of the G20 Health Working Group’s focus on Building Resilient Health Systems worldwide and working collectively to make progress in achieving universal health coverage (UHC). Digital technologies in health and the digitisation of healthcare are rightly prioritised as critical opportunities to drive progress towards the achievement of UHC and to ensure quality health services to those most in need, with a focus on sustainable and equitable digital transformation.

This offers an important opportunity to build on the work and commitments of previous G20s, including last year’s launch of the Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH) and a commitment from Health Ministers to support its implementation. We therefore commend the Brazilian Presidency’s proposition of setting clear goals for the implementation of the GIDH and facilitating coordination with other existing frameworks.

Towards these goals, Transform Health and partners urge G20 leaders to prioritise the following action areas to ensure the equitable, inclusive and sustainable digital transformation of health systems to deliver UHC:

  1. Prioritise action to strengthen health data governance, to facilitate responsible data sharing for public benefit, while safeguarding individual rights. We encourage G20 governments to support the development and endorsement (through a World Health Assembly Resolution) of a global health data governance regulatory framework that contains a draft model law and regulation, setting out core components for health data governance regulations (a regulatory playbook), as a resource and benchmark for governments to strengthen their national approaches. We further encourage governments to endorse the equity and rights-based health data governance principles which provide a foundation for stronger regulation and a global framework. Discussions through the G20, alongside the World Health Assembly, would help establish consensus, alignment and agreement across countries around what is needed, while also establishing a level of harmonisation across countries, which is important to facilitate responsible cross-border data sharing. 
  2. Ensure more effective and accountable digital health investment, as part of wider health system investment to deliver UHC. This is an important catalytic investment to build stronger and more resilient health systems that leave no one behind. Funding must prioritise areas that support the equitable, inclusive, sustainable digital transformation of health systems, and it must be coordinated and aligned with national priorities. G20 governments should also prioritise action to address the lack of available, or systematically collected, information on digital health investment, which is requisite to identify and close funding gaps and for better coordination. This includes building consensus around how both domestic and donor investments in digital health transformation should be classified, for example within existing mechanisms such as National Health Accounts and the OECD-DAC donor reporting system, alongside efforts to strengthen routine and sustainable mechanisms for reporting and tracking of investments. Operationalising the GIDH serves as an important opportunity to support this.
  3. Operationalise the Global Initiative on Digital Health (GIDH) to drive more coordinated and impactful digital health action. G20 governments, through catalytic investments in GIDH lighthouse countries identified in 2024, should align with country-led priorities and needs towards their digital health transformation. G20 governments should ensure that the GIDH prioritises improving the availability and transparency of digital health funding information and better tracking of investment. The meaningful engagement of civil society must also be prioritised as goals are set for the GIDH and as it is operationalised so that it responds to population needs, including vulnerable communities, women, children and adolescents.
  4. Make a G20 commitment on responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI) governance for health, including to work across governments and other sectors to prioritise equity and rights-based approaches in strengthening policies and regulation for AI in health in order to cultivate trust and catalyse innovation. Prioritise the collaborative implementation of  global guidelines and principles into country-led regulatory systems and workflows, to support the responsible development, adoption and deployment of responsible AI solutions in health. Ensure responsible AI development and deployment that prioritises health equity, transparency and accountability, while addressing potential biases and ethical concerns, which is essential for building trust and ensuring positive outcome for all. We also encourage G20 governments to recognise and prioritise the need for robust data governance as the bedrock for more effective and equitable digital health and AI governance.

These action areas should be prioritised by G20 countries, both through G20 processes, as well as other important processes and meetings throughout the year, including the World Health Assembly, UN General Assembly, UN Summit of the Future, World Bank meetings, among others. These offer continued opportunities for deliberation, consultation and to take forward action. 

Transform Health and its partners stand ready to support the G20 in achieving these goals and making important progress towards delivering health for all in the digital age.