Towards Digital Transformation for Universal Health Coverage
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The Covid-19 pandemic has re-emphasised the need to ensure equitable access to safe, effective and affordable health services. The very rapid shift to the use of smartphone apps and telephone consultations (telemedicine) has highlighted the potential impact of digital innovations on the capacity of health services to meet this need. It is time to take digital health seriously. In 2021, The Lancet and the Financial Times published a report by a commission of experts entitled Governing health futures 2030: growing up in a digital world. It describes the many ways that digital technologies are affecting health and access to health services (Kickbusch et al. 2021). The report emphasises the changing inter-relationships between the health and digital technology sectors and makes the case for effective governance of digital health. It outlines measures that can be taken to influence the speed and direction of change, with the aims of building trust and ensuring that the needs of poor and vulnerable people are met. Its focus is on global trends and global responses. This report complements that document by focusing on actions that LMICs can take to ensure that digital innovations contribute to their strategies for improving health and access to health services.Please note: There is an accompanying slide deck available to download.