This week, the World Health Organization announced ten recommendations on digital health, from targeted client communication and health worker decision support to digital tracking of clients’ health status and stock notification and commodity management. These recommendations were accompanied by additional recommendations to ministries and departments of health around the world to invest in projects that employ digital solutions.
This announcement was WHO’s first official endorsement of the use of technology in health systems. Dimagi Chief Strategy Officer Neal Lesh is excited to see the industry continue to garner legitimacy from organizations like WHO:
“It’s terrific that WHO is putting out these recommendations! It’s been great to see ‘a thousand flowers bloom’ and so much innovation in this new field. It’s a big step forward for an organization like WHO to add legitimacy to the work and endorse key principles for how it can best achieve the global development goals.”
Dimagi co-Founder and CEO Jonathan Jackson is looking forward to seeing organizations begin to adopt the recommendations:
“We are excited to see the digital health ecosystem mature, and recommendations from WHO is a great step. This will give governments, donors, and implementers a common language to use and use cases to evaluate both impact and return-on-investment for various technology approaches.”
Dimagi partner Guillaume Foutry, IeDA Regional Coordinator at Terre des hommes, shares this optimism:
“I am highly excited by the WHO announcement regarding guidelines and recommendations for digital health. They will help Ministries of Health in designing their strategies and provide all stakeholders with a ‘common language.’ As all partners get aligned on these standards, our interventions will become more integrated, and so more effective.”
The WHO recommendations came after a pre-announcement in 2016, which included a short list of guidelines from which they selected their final recommendations. Dimagi Senior Business Development Director Mohini Bhavsar explains:
“Congratulations to WHO for publishing this evidence base! There has been an enormous effort invested over a decade to demonstrate the theories of change for digital health interventions around the world. These recommendations will create opportunities for proven digital health solutions to transform health outcomes at scale and for ecosystem actors to bring the evidence into our practice.”
Click here for WHO’s press release on their recommendation announcement.
Click here to review WHO’s recommendations on digital health systems.