The World Health Organisation is convening global experts to help shape the Organization’s roadmap to advance the digital health ecosystem. The WHO Digital Health Technical Advisory Group met for the first time this week to discuss topics ranging from data governance, to ethical and equitable use of digital technologies, to helping communities benefit from proven and cost-effective digital health solutions.

“All governments are facing increasing demands to provide health services to their citizens, and many digital technologies offer solutions to help meet these needs,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. 

“But countries require confidence in what works. The action plan agreed today focuses our efforts on helping the world benefit from digital health technologies and solutions while safeguarding the misuse of people’s data and protecting their health,” he added. 

The two-day meeting at WHO’s headquarters in Geneva led to an agreed action plan to focus the expert group’s activities and priorities over the next two years. The meeting focused on better defining WHOs role in supporting global digital transformation.

Bernardo Mariano, director of WHO’s Department of Digital health and Innovation, said: “Digital technologies can play a powerful role in improving the health of people worldwide.” 

“WHO’s goal is to ensure digital technologies for health are safe and that proven tools reach everyone, everywhere,” Mariano added. “Digital health can help expand primary health care, allow health workers to fight resurgent or new diseases and ensure people can benefit from the transformation in digital health. What we call ‘digital health’ today will be, in future, known simply as the way we deliver health services in the digital age.”

Representing the public, private and social sectors, the experts will provide insights, guidance, feedback, and new opportunities for WHO as it helps drive digital health transformation in countries and globally. Earlier this year, WHO established its first Digital Health Department to work on digital health technologies