New Delhi: Digital solutions hold the capacity to revolutionize the healthcare delivery systems and under the visionary leadership of the prime minister, India aims to launch a global initiative on digital health as an institutional framework, said Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday (March 20). This framework aims to converge the global efforts for digital health and scale up digital solutions with use of cutting-edge technologies, Mr Mandaviya said as he virtually addressed the ‘Global Conference on Digital Health – Taking Universal Health Coverage to the Last Citizen’, a co-branded event under India’s G20 Presidency organised by WHO – South-East Asia Region in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
It is time to move from ‘silos to systems’ with collaboration of all countries for enhanced coverage and quality of healthcare services, he said.
Highlighting the importance of digital health, Mr Mandaviya said digital health is a great enabler in the delivery of healthcare services and has the potential to support overall universal health coverage (UHC) targets.
Mansukh Mandaviya, #India’s Minister of Health, underlined the significance of #digitalhealth as a great enabler in the delivery of healthcare services. #DH4UHC2023 #HealthForAll #G20India @g20org pic.twitter.com/A8fvieqh5E
— WHO South-East Asia (@WHOSEARO) March 20, 2023
He further said that national health policies proved instrumental for various path-breaking digital health intervention ensuring availability, accessibility and affordablility, and equity of health services. Mr Mandaviya elaborated that through this initiative, “we are building consensus on promotion of digital public goods as a key enabler in achieving universal health coverage targets through customization and democratization of technologies”.
Addressing the event, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region, said digital health can significantly improve the quality, accessibility, affordability and sustainability of person centric health services and effectiveness of disease management.
Digital health is a critical imperative today as it can democratize healthcare and fast track what our Region has been working intensely towards since 2014 – the universal health coverage, she said.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has particularly highlighted the importance of the application of digital technologies to health and its potential to strengthen health systems, prevent disease and enhance service delivery at the global, national and sub-national level, she said.
Addressing the challenges in universalization of digital health and enabling of equitable access to healthcare services across the world, particularly for low- and middle-income countries, Mr Mandaviya said that “aligned with the ethos of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, India provided Co-Win, E-sanjeevani, and Aarogya Setu applications as digital public goods exemplifying our commitment to global health and our role in driving equitable access to critical health solutions”.
Reiterating India’s commitment towards Universal Health Coverage, the health minister cited digital interventions have become the foundations of many crucial health programmes such as reproductive child healthcare, Ni-kshay, TB control programme, integrated disease surveillance system, hospital information system, among many others. He also said that India’s adoption of digital health as a critical intervention from the onset of the pandemic became a defining juncture as it enabled healthcare services to a wide range of services with ease, reaching the innermost regions of the nation.
India accordingly under its G20 Presidency has prioritized digital health as a specific priority in its Health Working Group namely ‘Digital Health Innovation and Solutions to aid UHC and improve Healthcare Service Delivery’. It aims to align, support and converge efforts, investments, and promotes the concept of digital public health goods to aid Universal Health Coverage, he added.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.