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Please Give Your Feedback: USAID Digital Health Vision for Action

By Wayan Vota on March 24, 2020

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Digital health technology is the application of information and communications technologies, and the data they generate, to support informed decision-making and engagement by individuals, health providers, and health systems to increase demand, access, coverage, quality, and affordability of health and wellness for all.

The World Health Organization identifies over 80 digital health technology use-cases for strengthening health systems, and groups them by primary target user-groups, including:

  • Clients, patients, and the general public
  • Formal and informal frontline health workers
  • Health systems managers and policy makers
  • Data collection and analysis services

USAID Digital Health Vision for Action

The draft USAID Digital Health Vision for Action moves the Agency beyond an era of funding characterized by fragmented pilots and siloed, program–specific information-technology systems. It sees a future shaped by investments in health strategies led and managed at the country level, and in systems that host governments and their local partners can operate, expand, and sustain independently over time.

This Vision helps sharpen investments in digital technologies to unlock significant gains for health institutions, health workers, citizens, and host governments in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

This Vision builds from established best practices, such as those articulated in USAID’s Digital Strategy and the USAID-endorsed Principles for Digital Development and Principles of Donor Alignment for Digital Health.

Four Key Digital Health Vision Pillars

The draft USAID Digital Health Vision for Action details four strategic priorities for USAID to advance a new generation of strategic digital-health investments in the context of USAID’s inaugural Digital Strategy:

1. Country-Level Capacity in Digital Health

Investments in country-level capacity in digital health—including in leadership and governance, and institutional and workforce capacity—are essential to enabling investments in digital tools and systems to succeed.

2. National Digital Health Strategies

Strong national digital-health strategies and costed implementation roadmaps provide an organizing framework that align funders’ investments in digital tools and systems to country- identified health priorities and plans.

3. National Digital Health Architectures

National digital-health architectures provide an organizing framework, including through the use of international standards, to identify country-specific technology requirements, prioritize interoperability between national digital-health systems, and streamline future investments.

In turn, these frameworks can lower the financial and management burden of competing digital systems; strengthen national health institutions and the provision of health care overall; and promote the effectiveness, reach, and cost-efficiencies of digital investments.

4. Digital Health Global Goods

Global goods include content (knowledge products) and software tools, which frequently are open-source, that are adaptable and reuseable to meet the diverging needs of various geographic or thematic contexts.

These can include reference guides; reusable digital components, such as identification or messaging systems deployable across sectors; as well as software tools specific to the health sector. Their use supports the scaling of tested tools built to meet common use-environments in LMICs and efficiencies that can promote cost-savings and sustainability.

Give Your Feedback Now

USAID seeks your feedback on its draft Digital Health Vision for Action to ensure that it will enabling partner countries’ Journeys to Self-Reliance in a digitally-enabled 21st century.

Please submit your comments now.

Comments will be accepted through Friday, April 3, 2020. Where possible please indicate the relevant page number or page range for your comment. Comments will not be made public but they will be reviewed internally by USAID and a representative may follow up with you as needed.  You can email questions too.

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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One Comment to “Please Give Your Feedback: USAID Digital Health Vision for Action”

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