WHO Digital Health Virtual Round Table with the Development Partners


Digital technologies are revolutionising how individuals communicate with each other, seek and exchange information and improve their lives. Digital technologies offer an unprecedented opportunity to change lives, transform economies and stimulate growth. Mobile connectivity and mobile technology have opened up new opportunities to connect people. The use of digital technologies for health is a transformative agent in low-income settings, where mobile connectivity has reached unprecedented penetration and ubiquity.

The current digital health transformation provides an excellent accelerator for reaching the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The World Health Assembly Resolution on Digital Health has recognised the value of digital technologies to contribute to advancing health aims of the SDGs. The Resolution urged all Ministries of Health ‘to assess their use of digital technologies for health […] and to prioritise, as appropriate, the development, evaluation, implementation, scale-up and greater use of digital technologies.’ Similarly, multilateral initiatives such as the Roadmap for Health and Measurement and Accountability advocate the ‘use of the digital revolution to scale-up health interventions and engage civil society’, and monitor health systems’ performance and accountability to beneficiary populations.


There is international support for a scale up of digital health by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has stated that ‘the use and scale up of digital health solutions can revolutionize how people worldwide achieve higher standards of health, and access services to promote and protect their health and well-being.’ WHO is focussing on enabling countries to plan, adopt and benefit from seamless and secure technologies that provide effective clinical and public health solutions to accelerate the achievement of SDG3. This means leaving no one behind – children or adults, rural or urban, with digital solutions to improve their health and well-being. However, an unprecedented global effort will be required to mobilise political will, capital, infrastructure and technology in order to scale this accelerated progress.

In 2019, WHO established its first Department of Digital Health and Innovation (DHI) to work on digital health technologies to fulfil World Health Assembly resolution WHA/71 A71. WHO has been developing plans to accelerate the use of technologies to meet global public health needs.

WHO has also established a Digital Health Technical Advisory Group, to act as an advisory body on matters related to digital health, including the development, scale and implementation of global standards for governance and oversight of digital health products services and systems.


  1. Discuss and agree on how to accelerate and adopt digital health solutions including Early warning disease surveillance systems at all levels to jointly accelerate digital transformation of healthcare.
  2. Discuss how to enhance the power of collaboration and partnerships that brings together all the key stakeholders to build a network of networks, the Global Digital Health Community: Development partners, Government, Academia, Civil societies and the Private sector to ensure effective global coordination, create solidarity and contribute to the achievement of health-related SDGs.

Time: 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM CEST / 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM EDT

Location: World Health Organiztion

Date: Tuesday, June 23, 2020