Why is the Global Digital Health Partnership important for populations globally?

As countries around the world face the challenges of designing systems and delivering services that result in good health and wellbeing for their citizens, digital technologies can provide potential solutions. They can improve the safety, quality and effectiveness of healthcare, support earlier diagnosis of disease and the development of new medicines and treatments. They can empower patients, citizens and the care professionals who serve them.

Governments are making significant investments to harness the power of technology and foster innovation and public-private partnerships that support high quality, sustainable health and care for all. The GDHP facilitates global collaboration and co-operation in the implementation of digital health services. There is currently no similar international forum to share best practice and enable co-working in digital health. The Global Digital Health Partnership initiated with the support of the Australian Department of Health and the Australian Digital Health Agency.

“It is important that guidelines created by governments and other agencies are co-produced with the needs of innovators, industries, clinicians and the community. The GDHP activities should consider the needs and input of these sectors to improve the delivery of digital health service,” Mr Tim Kelsey, CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency said.

“Australia and its international partners can learn from each other and share information about what has worked in their health settings and collaborate on initiatives together that will support digital health systems working more effectively in their countries,” Mr Kelsey said.

What is the GDHP?

The Global Digital Health Partnership is an international collaboration between governments, government agencies, and multinational organisations responsible for policy, funding, and delivery of health services to their citizens.

On 19 and 20 February, 2018 senior digital health officials from thirteen countries, Hong Kong SAR and the World Health Organization (WHO) gathered in Canberra, Australia for the inaugural Global Digital Health Partnership Summit. The purpose of this meeting was to create an international platform for health and care leaders to meet and discuss country visions, ideas and challenges, transfer knowledge and share strategies that will guide participating countries in the delivery of digital health services.

Participants who attended the inaugural summit included: Austria, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the WHO. The meeting was opened by Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM, Secretary for the Department of Health, Australia. The Hon. Greg Hunt. MP, Minister for Health, Australia, and the Hon. Shri. Jagat Prakash Nadda, Minister of Health and Family Welfare, India, who welcomed the participants.

The participating countries are now engaging in an international dialogue to learn and share lessons on effective policy design and practical delivery implementation of digital health services. Over the coming year the GDHP will collaborate on the following topics:

1. Connected and interoperable health care;

2. Cyber security;

3. Creating digital health policy environments;

4. Clinician and consumer engagement; and

5. Evidence and evaluation of digital health.

What’s next for the GDHP?

Following the success of the inaugural meeting in Canberra, the next Global Digital Health Partnership meeting will take place in Washington DC on 24 and 25 April, preceding the 2018 Health Datapalooza, 26 and 27 April.

We are delighted to invite you to attend the Health Datapalooza on 26 April for an update from the global participants of the Global Digital Health Partnership on their progress. On 26 April, a panel featuring GDHP participants will offer you the opportunity to ask questions and engage with these leading global policy makers. The panel session will include a description of activities from several working groups across technology, policy, evaluation, and consumer engagement.

About the Global Digital Health Partnership
The Global Digital Health Partnership is an international collaboration between governments, government agencies, and multinational organisations responsible for policy, funding, and delivery of health services to their citizens. Following a number of bilateral and multilateral discussions, interest in the partnership has grown strongly.

Senior digital health officials from Austria, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the WHO attended the inaugural Global Digital Health Partnership Summit in Canberra, Australia. The participating countries are now engaging in an international dialogue to learn and share lessons on effective policy design and practical delivery implementation of digital health services. For further information on the Global Digital Health Partnership, email GDHP@digitalhealth.gov.au

About the Australian Digital Health Agency
The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems and the national digital health strategy for Australia. The Agency is the system operator of the My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare professionals to provide informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. www.digitalhealth.gov.au