Global Agenda Council on Digital Health 2012-2014
The transformational power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) drives digital health, much the way it does other industries such as banking and retail. However, it is only now that using and adopting ICTs in healthcare is gaining momentum, a change from the previous slow pace of uptake. Today’s burgeoning digital health technology sector is encouraging. Health-related data can make a powerful impact on the global health landscape by improving the safety, efficiency and quality of healthcare. One of the biggest innovations in this space is delivering more data to consumers through mobile, social and Web applications. This information can empower individuals to make more informed decisions concerning their health and behaviour. In addition to advantages for both practitioners and patients, digital health presents many social and economic benefits including cost savings, increasing the productivity and efficiency of populations, creating jobs, sustainability and improving the use of health resources.
However, the widespread adoption and implementation of digital health technology faces several challenges. First, financial issues accompany the introduction of new technology as it is a costly process requiring significant resources. Information about the return on investment on such activities is scarce. Second, policies and regulations are needed, particularly in the area of managing personal data. This is important for trustworthy and reliable data sharing. Finally, while many digital health efforts already exist, there is little sharing of best practices. With countries at different levels of development, communicating the successes and failures of digital health initiatives is valuable to driving progress.
What the Council is doing about it
The Global Agenda Council on Digital Health is working to address these issues by highlighting the benefits of digital health both from a healthcare and economic perspective. Several workstreams have been identified, including the economic benefits of digital health, best practice and lesson sharing, and creating opportunities for health data sharing.
“Health-related data can make a powerful impact on the global health landscape by improving the safety, efficiency and quality of healthcare.”
The Council has also worked in collaboration with the Global Agenda Council on Personalized& Precision Medicine to launch the “Enabling Health Transformation through Data Sharing” project. This project aims to create a multistakeholder partnership for health data to explore how to make data sharing a reality, with a governance mechanism to ensure trust and sustainability. The Council also aims to create a publication or other communications tool to share information. At the same time, the joint project with the Council on Personalized & Precision Medicine will be a flagship initiative for both Councils next term and perhaps beyond.
To get involved please contact
Research Analyst: Shubhra Saxena Kabra, Knowledge Manager, Global Agenda Councils, Shubhra.Saxena@weforum.org
Council Manager: Olivia Baranda, Associate Director, Healthcare Industries, Olivia.Baranda@weforum.org
Forum Lead: Olivier Raynaud, Senior Director, World Economic Forum, Olivier.Raynaud@weforum.org