Digital health leaders have recently come together in London at the third Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) summit, to collaborate and share their experiences, and to support the improved delivery of digital health services around the world. The leaders represented 23 countries and territories and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Following the summit on 3-4 September, representatives attended the Health and Care Innovation Expo on 5-6 September and the NHS Digital showcase on 7 September in Manchester.
Chair of the Global Digital Health Partnership and Chief Executive of the Australian Digital Health Agency, Mr Tim Kelsey commented on the significance of the partnership for countries around the world.
“The GDHP is in a unique position to support the adoption of digital health services that can improve health and care outcomes, transform access to services and support people to take more control of their health information,” Mr Kelsey said.
Dr Simon Eccles, co-host of the third GDHP summit and Chief Clinical Information Officer for Health and Care at NHS England said that GDHP brings together the best international practice in digital health.
“We are delighted to have co-hosted the latest summit and in particular to welcome GDHP to the NHS Health and Care Innovation Expo 2018 in Manchester. This summit has again underlined the collective value we gain from working together to tackle the big challenges such as interoperability. Sharing knowledge and experience from across the globe helps improve the quality and experience of care for NHS patients much closer to home,” Dr Eccles said.
The Deputy Director General of Programmes from the World Health Organization, Dr Soumya Swaminathan attended the third summit in London and commented on the importance of digital health.
“The unanimous adoption of the digital health resolution by the 194 WHO member states in May 2018 underscores the importance of the appropriate use of digital technologies for health promotion, disease prevention and quality care for all persons everywhere. WHO is happy to work with member states as well as the Global Digital Health Partnership and partners in advancing efforts to use digital health technologies and approaches to strengthen country health systems,” Dr Swaminathan said.
New countries attending the London summit included Argentina, Brazil, Estonia, Japan, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Ukraine and Uruguay. They joined participants from Australia, Austria, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Sweden, Republic of Korea, Singapore, United States and the United Kingdom, who attended meetings hosted by the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England, and NHS Digital on 3-4 September.
“Digital health is not only a clinical but a human imperative. The growth of this important international partnership reflects the desire by all countries and territories to work together to share learnings on new innovations and to address the growing health care challenges of the 21st century,” Mr Kelsey said.
Discussions at the summit focused on how global collaboration can best support the design and adoption of digital health services. The GDHP work plan addresses the key themes of interoperability, clinical and consumer engagement, evidence and evaluation, policy environments, and cyber security. The partnership is developing shared resources in these areas which compare the approach taken by different GDHP participant countries around the world.
GDHP participants at the London summit also engaged in discussions with experts in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Participants considered the expansion and integration of AI from the perspectives of research, clinical use, and ethical and social implications, and how these initiatives varied in their development around the world.
India will host the next summit in the week commencing 25 February 2019.