WHO released 10 new guidelines on how countries can use digital health technology
The World Health Organization (WHO) released new recommendations on 10 ways that countries can use digital health technology, accessible via mobile phones, tablets and computers, to improve people’s health and essential services.
The recommendations are a result of a two-year-long research by the WHO on digital technologies.
What is digital health technology?
Digital health is a simple concept – using technology to help improve individuals’ health and wellness. It can cover everything from wearable gadgets to ingestible sensors, from mobile health apps to artificial intelligence, from robotic carers to electronic records.
The guideline also makes recommendations about telemedicine, which allows people living in remote locations to obtain health services by using mobile phones, web portals, or other digital tools.
The guideline emphasizes the importance of reaching vulnerable populations, and ensuring that digital health does not endanger them in any way.
WHO’s work on digital health:
In 2018, governments unanimously adopted a World Health Assembly resolution calling on WHO to develop a global strategy on digital health to support national efforts to achieve universal health coverage. That strategy is scheduled to be considered at the World Health Assembly in 2020.
WHO developed the eHealth Strategy Toolkit in 2012 which was published in collaboration with International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
To support governments in monitoring and coordination of digital investments in their country, WHO has developed the Digital Health Atlas, an online global repository where implementers can register their digital health activities.
WHO has also established innovative partnerships with the ITU, such as the BeHe@lthy, BeMobileinitiative for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, as well as efforts for building digital health capacity through the WHO Regional Office for Africa.
WHO has released a number of resources to strengthen digital health research and implementation, including the mHealth Assessment and Planning for Scale (MAPS) toolkit, a handbook for Monitoring and Evaluation of Digital Health, and mechanisms to harness digital health to end TB.
About World Health Organization (WHO):
WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
Founded: 7 April 1948
Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland
Head: Tedros Adhanom