~ Digital Health Week 2023 Task Group
Digital Health Week (DHW) 2023 is nearly here!
The global week of action, taking place from 6th to 12th November – across the world and online, aims to highlight the fundamental role that digital technology can play to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
Over the last twenty years health systems have undergone a significant shift towards digitalisation. However, this digital transformation has tended to be uneven and there is a risk that a digital divide adds onto a health divide and increases existing inequalities. To address this risk we need to work together and across all levels to ensure the digital transformation of health systems benefits everyone and leverages the expertise of all sectors.
#DigitalHealthWeek2023 is a global moment where civil society, governments, private sector, health institutions and community members can come together to:
- Expand and enrich national and regional dialogues on the digital transformation of healthcare to achieve UHC.
- Increase the number of actions or initiatives aimed at promoting digital transformation as a means of achieving UHC.
- Promote collaboration and knowledge sharing on digital health within and across countries and contexts.
- Build consensus, increase support and attention for the role of digital technology and the effective use of data as a means of getting the world back on track to meet set SDG commitment on UHC.
This week of action will provide a space for all stakeholders to champion digital transformation to achieve health for all!
ENGAGE DURING DIGITAL HEALTH WEEK 2023
Participating organisations and individuals in Digital Health Week 2023, can register their ‘action’ on the DHW website. These ‘actions’ could range from organising an event, engaging on social media, sharing stories, launching campaigns, making a public commitment, or anything else!
Organisations interested in taking ‘action’ can share details through the participation form. In the form, organisations can inform us of their events, activities, or other initiatives – highlighting the theme(s) that they will be engaging with. We will host the ‘actions’ in the ‘DHW Action Tracker’ and amplify them on the Digital Health Week website.
Each participating organisation will be responsible for planning and implementing their own activities and events, including registering them on the DHW platform and promoting them on their networks.
Learn more on how to engage through the participation guide.
Access resources: digital assets, social media messaging, presentation templates, zoom backgrounds, and more; These resources will help enhance your organisations’ engagement during this global week of action.
TELL US YOUR DIGITAL HEALTH STORY – CONTRIBUTE TO THE DIGITAL HEALTH WEEK COMMUNITY
Digital Health Week is a key moment to create and amplify multimedia content around digital health.
To speak to this, the DHW website will host a community page. This will be a space comprising a library of insights, articles, blogs, case studies, videos, or any other materials, submitted by participants from across the world, who are championing the potential of digital health.
These materials will serve to broaden the conversation on digital health and foster collaboration and collective learning amongst organisations and individuals alike.
Contribute to the community page; share your submission here.
THEMATIC PRIORITIES FOR THE WEEK OF ACTION IN 2023
For Digital Health Week 2023, six themes have been identified to help focus the conversation and ensure the key elements are discussed. Participants are encouraged to organise their actions and events on the day corresponding to their theme. The week will will flow in the following manner:
Breakthroughs in digital health, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), and the increased reliance on machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL), offer significant potential to enhance healthcare systems and patient outcomes. However, without proper regulation they also present risks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated global digital transformation, illustrating the effectiveness of partnerships in healthcare delivery. Sustainable collaborations between governments, the private sector, healthcare providers, patients, legislators, and academia are crucial to unlock the potential of digital technologies, manage risks, and achieve health for all.
Digital health plays a vital role in modern healthcare systems. However, for UHC to be achieved, it’s essential to develop and implement digital health solutions in a fair and inclusive manner. Failing to do so could lead to a digital divide that worsens existing healthcare disparities, especially affecting women, youth, and marginalised communities. In rural and marginalised communities, where traditional healthcare services might be limited, digital health tools bridge the gap by providing remote consultations, health monitoring apps, and access to vital health information.
As digital health continues to reshape the healthcare landscape, it’s crucial to ensure that these innovations address the healthcare needs of all, with a strong emphasis on promoting gender equality and inclusivity. By striving for equality and accessibility in healthcare technologies and services, we can ensure that individuals of all genders, backgrounds, and identities have equitable access to and can benefit from digital health solutions.
Digital health technologies are increasingly becoming an integral part of healthcare systems across the world. Increasing digitisation brings with it its own risks, in relation to the development, deployment, application and use of digital tools – such as the unchecked use of personal data that risks marginalising individuals and entire groups.
These risks need to be mitigated through legislation, regulation and policies that effectively govern the digital health space, drawing out the benefits for the individual and the population at large while curbing its potential harms, abuses and misuses. A global health data governance framework, underpinned by equity and rights-based principles, is one measure by which we can ensure common regulatory standards, enabling health data to offer public good benefits and improve health outcomes for individuals. However, many such efforts and initiatives can be taken to bridge the governance and technology gap.
We have now reached a stage in the digital health journey where we need to think beyond enhancing health systems through the introduction of individual digital technologies and to instead consider the digital transformation of health systems in its broader sense.
We need to remove the underlying obstacles and challenges to sustainability and scale. We need to focus on the actions and the investments that are necessary to drive a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable transformation of health systems in low-and lower-middle-income countries, in an otherwise fragmented funding system. There is a need to ensure that investments towards digital transformation are better coordinated and aligned across diverse stakeholders.
Healthcare has swiftly evolved over the years due to digital technologies, enabled by data-driven innovation and AI centred healthcare solutions. Such advancements offer potential to advance diagnostics, treatment, and healthcare delivery. Climate change and pandemics have further spurred the advancement of digital healthcare solutions.
However, as we stand in the midst of this digital health revolution, it is imperative to carefully consider not only the potential benefits, but also the potential associated risks that need to be mitigated.
Moreover, bridging the gap in digital literacy and access to technology is crucial to prevent marginalised communities from being left behind in this digital health revolution. The future of digital health holds tremendous potential to enhance healthcare accessibility, efficiency, and quality. To fully harness these benefits, it is vital for healthcare organisations, policymakers, and technology developers to work collaboratively in addressing the associated risks and ensuring that digital health solutions are inclusive, ethical, and secure for all.
The intersection of digital health innovation and climate change represents a dynamic and increasingly integrated area of focus for our future well-being.
Digital health technologies not only enhance our ability to deliver healthcare efficiently but also can play a role in mitigating the impact of the global climate crisis. From telemedicine reducing the need for carbon-intensive travel to data-driven solutions optimising resource use in healthcare, this synergy is where innovation meets sustainability.
As we broaden our conception of health and health systems in a climate stressed context, we need to confront the social determinants of health and how these are intricately linked with climate change. Digital technology, the production, management and use of increasing amounts of data, allows us access to greater analysis and information on the intersection between environmental and human health, and opens the possibility of more coherent and coordinated approaches to both for the benefit of people and the planet. By harnessing the power of digital health, we can not only improve individual health outcomes but also contribute to a healthier planet for generations to come.