2020 Global Digital Health Partnership Launches White Papers

Launch of Global Digital Health Partnership White Paper “AI for Healthcare”

GDHP Secretariat is pleased to announce publication of the latest Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) white paper, “AI for healthcare: Creating an international approach together.”


Digital health, including AI-driven technologies, is a growing, dynamic and fast-paced industry. It is, therefore, important that comprehensive information is gathered and shared on the state of progress of research into AI and the implementation of AI-driven technologies both nationally and internationally. Additionally, it is important that decisions about the use of AI-driven technologies in health systems are aligned with the evidence, and that policymakers have the capabilities and confidence to not fall foul of the hype surrounding AI.


This white paper outlines four strategic categories and associated policy recommendations to support policymakers to implement AI-driven technologies into their health system:

  • Leadership and oversight are necessary to ensure that countries take a ‘needs-based’ approach to AI-driven technology use within their health system and to ensure this use creates maximal benefit when it comes to health outcomes.
  • Policies should focus on the entire ecosystem of AI research, development and implementation rather than just one aspect of the AI life cycle.
  • National standards and regulatory processes should ensure interoperability, safety, transparency and efficacy of AI-driven technologies in health settings.
  • Engagement with stakeholders such as patients, healthcare practitioners, and industry should be proactively pursued through highlighting the demonstrable benefits of specific uses of AI-driven technologies in health systems.

All insight, recommendations and international case studies within this white paper are grounded in information and experience shared by GDHP member countries. As stated by the GDHP Policy Environments Work Stream Chair:

"We are grateful to all those from NHS AI Lab and others who participated in the work to produce this report. It is clear that this is an area of keen interest for GDHP members and we hope the report and experiences of NHSX team will help individual member countries in making use of AI to improve the care they give their patients."  Mr. Tim Donohoe, Director of Delivery, Assurance and Operations (NHSX) and Chair, Policy Environments Work Stream

This research was conducted and produced by NHSX's National Health Service (NHS) Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab (https://www.nhsx.nhs.uk/ai-lab/) on behalf of the GDHP. The NHS AI Lab, established in August 2019, is streamlining the development and deployment of practical applications of data-driven technolgies into the NHS in the United Kingdom.

We hope the insight and recommendations shared in this paper provide crucial policy guidance on developing and deploying AI-driven technologies into practice for the international health community.

“In the time of COVID Pandemic, countries have aggressively adopted digital tools to address health needs. The data driven decisions proved to be the cornerstone in our fight against COVID. The need of the hour is to leverage this momentum and accelerate towards a holistic Global Digital Health Ecosystem. GDHP white papers aim to enable countries with a definitive direction to advance in strengthening the healthcare delivery system with prominent use of digital technologies. These efforts of GDHP to achieve interoperability of data; robust policy, regulation & decision making, data security and privacy etc. will surely pave the way for a digital healthcare economy in years to come.” Ms. Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Chair GDHP

“Sharing digital health information is now more important than ever as individual nations and the global community respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. These White Papers will provide both participant and non-participant countries and territories with guidance on the key digital health enablers that can lead in improving the health and well-being of citizens at national and sub-national levels through the best use of evidence-based digital technologies.” Mr. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and Focal Point, GDHP Secretariat

Building on the first set of white papers published in 2018, the second set of white papers aim to identify key health challenges and offer digital solutions to aid in the presenting of persuasive positions for planning, prioritised investments, strategic approaches, and evaluation of digital health initiatives.

We hope that these reports provide both participant and non-participant countries and territories with guidance on the key digital health enablers that can lead to improving the health and well-being of citizens at national and sub-national levels through the best use of evidence-based digital technologies.

The GDHP would like to thank countries and territories who participated in the work stream discussions and in particular thank those (from five continents) who contributed their profiles to these reports including – Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. Rodney Ecclestone and Clara Lubbers provided guidance and editorial support to the work stream Chairs and Co-Chairs, and worked with participant countries to ensure the development of these reports.


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