FIND statement at the plenary session on operationalizing GIDH during the second G20 health working group meeting

Plenary Session on Operationalization of the Global Initiative on Digital Health

Delivered by Dr Sergio Carmona, acting CEO
8 April 2024, Brasilia, Brazil

Ministra e Ambassador Gostaria de comencar agradecendo aos organizadores e ao Brasil por hospedar a 2ª reunião do grupo de trabalho de saúde do G20 em Brasília. É uma honra estar aqui.

Chair, FIND supports the Global Initiative on Digital Health and believes it will play a critical role in realizing the potential of digital health at a country and global level. Digitally-enabled diagnostic technologies can transform healthcare, bringing accurate diagnosis closer to people, anywhere in the world. Towards this end, GIDH can help countries prioritize and scale-up access to quality-assured digital diagnostic technologies, especially for surveillance and primary healthcare. As our colleague from Norway reminded us the District Health Information Software 2, DHIS2, is a widely used digital public good which FIND has adopted in the work we support for example in strengthening surveillance.

The digital transformation toolbox proposed under GIDH will offer more such opportunities for reusing and building on existing innovations. As we look at strategies to address the digital divide and ensure equity in access to digital technologies within the GIDH framework, we ask member states, the WHO and partners to consider commitments to the following 4 areas:

  • Echoing South Africa, efforts are needed on developing evidence and regulatory frameworks, in partnership with Ministries of Health, the private sector and underserved communities, for the safe and effective use of technologies like AI and telehealth;
  • Capacity building of the health workforce on advances in diagnostics and adoption of digital technologies, especially at a primary and community level, to help bridge the digital divide;
  • Supporting national innovation ecosystems and creation of an R&D blueprint for digital health and AI, in collaboration with Ministries of Health, civil society and the private sector
  • Including metrics on healthcare access such as access to diagnostic data and services, as measures of success for GIDH’s efforts

FIND has been working closely with countries and implementation partners to support standards-based digital transformation and inclusion of responsible AI in countries’ diagnostic services and lab systems. We commit to supporting the lighthouse countries in their digital transformation agenda, by building on this experience. We congratulate the Brazilian G20 Presidency and WHO for the leadership in advancing the operationalization of GIDH and look forward to contributing to this endeavor.