1st Global Digital Health Summit Builds a Roadmap for Digital Health Tools Usage to Achieve Universal Health Coverage

Global healthcare practitioners, leaders, policymakers and think tanks have come under one roof to discuss ideas and implement new guidelines about the usage of digital health tools in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic at the recently concluded debut edition of Global Digital Health Summit. The two-day summit saw six-panel discussions and masterclasses, which were attended by over 1500 delegates from 35 countries and ambassadors from nine nations.

The inaugural edition of the summit was organised in association with The Global Health Connector Partnership (American Telemedicine Association, HLTH, European Connected Health Alliance, Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health, African Health Federation, The Digital Health Society, Health Parliament), The International Society for Telemedicine & Health, Switzerland, and Internet Governance Forum- Dynamic Coalition on Digital Health. It was graced by Union Health Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, MBBS, MD, Hon’ble Union Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India. Dr Singh has revealed that in the next five years, India will witness an 80% increase in investment in digital healthcare tools.

“Under PM Modi’s leadership, healthcare has become more focused on innovation and technology over the past few years. 80% of healthcare systems are aiming to increase their investment in digital healthcare tools in the coming five years. Indian innovators are developing pathbreaking health-tech products and solutions. The government is applying these digital health developments through the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission,” he said.

Dr Vinod Paul, Member-Health, NITI Aayog, Government of India, said during the coronavirus pandemic, digital health tools have touched the lives of every Indian through teleconsultation, e-pharmacies and self-monitoring health applications.

“Our government is leaving no stone unturned to scale up the technology for people’s better health. Digital health has made remarkable progress in the last couple of years. Using digital health tools, 900 million Covid tests have been done, and 69 million teleconsultations have taken place. We have witnessed mission-driven progress in healthcare,” said Dr Paul.

Mr Jon Warner, US President ORCHA Health, put a special impetus on the usage of emerging technologies entailing 5G, AI, Gaming, and Metaverse in the development of healthcare facilities in India.

“To have extensive universal healthcare coverage in India, it has become essential that we integrate emerging technologies in our healthcare practices. India rolled out 5G earlier this month, which could be a game changer in the healthcare industry. We can implement a 5G-enabled ambulance, which can be equipped with the latest medical equipment, patient monitoring applications and telemetry devices that can transmit the patient health data to a hospital in real-time. This will strengthen the emergency care services in India,” added Mr Warner.

Dr Patricia Mechael, Co-founder of Global Digital Health Index, highlighted the challenges in data sharing and accessibility, which play an important role in delivering high-quality patient care.

“It provides clinicians with immediate access to patient records, including medical history, test results and relevant information provided by other clinicians. With access to the right data, clinicians can deliver exceptional healthcare by making informed decisions substantially faster, reducing wait times and contributing to providing better healthcare at a better cost. However, access to clean, complete, and accurate data for use is still an ongoing battle in the healthcare sector. This needs to be addressed immediately,” said Mechael.

“The summit has been an astounding success, and we see great synergy and forthcoming collaborations with international and nationally acclaimed leading healthcare practitioners, researchers, govt officials, and academics to ensure the Digitalization of healthcare. We look forward to many successful outcomes that have been part of various discourses during the summit. This Summit has paved the way for Digital Health For All by 2028, and there is an unprecedented consensus on how digital health will be the future of India and that India can lead the world in Digital Health,” said Dr Rajendra Pratap Gupta, Co-Chair of Global Digital Health Summit, Expo & Innovation Awards.

Ms Vidadala Rajini, Minister for Health, Family Welfare & Medical Education, Government of Andhra Pradesh, presented the revolutionary measures taken by the State government in the healthcare field. She also unveiled a logo on “Women for Digital Health”.

The summit concluded with a glitzy global digital health innovation award, where healthcare innovators were recognised for their relentless efforts. The segment also celebrated and encouraged others to become innovators.





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