Press Release: The Global Digital Health Index Launches Inaugural State of Digital Health Report
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
The Global Digital Health Index (GDHI)—an interactive digital health self-assessment tool and maturity model that enables countries to measure, track, monitor, and evaluate the use of digital technology for health within and across countries—released its inaugural State of Digital Health report, which provides the first-ever snapshot of digital health ecosystems throughout the world and lays the foundation for better informed and more coordinated investments in digital health.
The report presents data collected from the 22 countries across 6 regions that participate in the Index, analyzes regional trends, and sets benchmarks for countries to consider when charting future growth. It also contextualizes the findings in relation to digital health milestones and other global trend analyses. The Index’s data show that countries have made significant progress in their digital health ecosystems worldwide; yet, challenges remain in implementing sustainable digital health solutions at scale.
Key findings from the report include:
Overall, most countries are at average digital health maturity
Countries throughout the world lack national digital health architectures, health information exchanges, and data standards, which can slow progress in the digital health field
Countries in Africa lag behind global averages, indicating a need for a particular focus on investment in that region
“We are excited to see the full power of the GDHI through the country and regional trends that have emerged from the first 22 countries to participate,” said Dr. Patricia Mechael, co-founder and policy lead at HealthEnabled and one of the partners facilitating the development of the Global Digital Health Index. “It is our hope that by increasing visibility into the maturity of digital health ecosystems that countries can learn from each other and that better investments will be made so that the full transformative power of technology will result in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal 3: Health for all at all ages.”
Dr. Syed Mursalin, a technical advisor focused on health in Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning Development and Reform said of the Index: “It has helped us in evaluating the progress being done on several indicators and serves as an overall progress tracking system. It also acts as a reminder for early response to several indicators where we lag behind, as compared to other countries.”
Darren Douglass, Group Manager of Digital Strategy and Investment in the New Zealand Ministry of Health, also emphasized the usefulness of the Index, noting, “The assessment validated what we understood about our digital health maturity in a form that is easy to use and communicate.”
“We are thrilled at the significant progress Uganda is making in the digital health space, as we know it will be the future of our health systems and key to delivering quality health care services to our citizens,” said Assistant Commissioner Carol Kyozira at Uganda’s Ministry of Health. “The Index has been an invaluable tool for us to identify gaps in our digital health systems and learn from other countries. We look forward to continuing that learning process as more countries participate in the index.”
This inaugural report serves as a call to action to governments and health practitioners worldwide, urging them to commit to improving the data on existing digital health ecosystems, which will in turn provide clear paths for improving them. With increased country participation in the Index, the data and insights offered by the Index will become more robust. Countries looking to learn more about their digital health maturity, how it compares to other countries, and how they can improve it are encouraged to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute data.
Photo courtesy of Andy Miah.