JOGH (20.11.2021) While there is tremendous promise to leverage technology for UHC, it will require smart, context-specific policies and programming with ample flexibility to adapt as needs and opportunities change – and with robust safeguards to protect privacy, data security, and equity. The health sector, by its very nature of being data intensive, lends itself to the use of technology for analytics to improve health outcomes, respond to public health crises, and efficiently and equitably allocate resources. The first imperative in considering the use of digital health to expand UHC is to remember that digital health is a means to an end, and only one of the available means. Efforts leveraging digital health to move along that path to universality have taken many forms: to increase the number of people reached, to provide enhanced service coverage, and to reduce the financial burdens on individuals in need of health care. Making use of digital health interventions is an evolving process, not a one-time decision point. It is context specific and needs a clear vision to move from pilot interventions to scaled implementation. Technology can be a key tool in achieving UHC but its use has to be strategic, judicious, and cognizant of issues around privacy and patient rights.
Digital Economy Topical Cluster