FIND statement on priority 3 at the second health working group of the G20 in India

Priority 3

Digital health innovations and solutions to aid universal health coverage and improve healthcare service delivery

Delivered by Willo Brock, FIND EVP, External Affairs
Goa, India, 18 April 2023

    FIND extends support towards the framework of the Global Initiative on Digital Health proposed under the Indian G20 presidency.

    Digital diagnostic technologies, both AI and non-AI based decision support tools, and public health surveillance platforms, have a vital role to play across the healthcare cascade – from supporting screening and ensuring accurate diagnosis at a patient level to providing critical information for pandemic preparedness and response. Digital tools can strengthen health systems and empower individuals to take charge of their own health and therefore accelerate our progress towards universal health coverage.

    However, to unlock the potential these advancements have brought to the world, there are a few key enablers, such as:

    1. Human-centred design
    2. Investments and efforts to bridge the digital divide and ensure equity and access
    3. Interoperability
    4. Data standards, security, privacy and governance
    5. Regulations and policies to ensure that digital tech is scaled-up in a safe and effective manner

    While this may not be new information to most of us, it hasn’t really translated well into implementation, leading to a fragmented and partially effective digital health landscape. Therefore, it is imperative that there is a coordinated, dedicated effort to develop, maintain and build capacity in digital health programmes, especially in LMICs, around standards, policies and regulations for digital health, without which this accelerator for universal health coverage will remain untapped.

    The proposed Global Initiative on Digital Health is therefore a critical requirement to realizing the potential, at a global and individual level, of digital technologies.

    Today, FIND would like to call on G20 Member States to support the creation of this Initiative and would like to support the initiative by developing people-centred policies and regulations for digital diagnostics, including for AI-enabled diagnostic tools.  We also support the development, evidence generation and maintenance of digital public goods that have a potential to transform community-based diagnosis and surveillance.