The World Health Organization (WHO) is planning to create a digital health department as part of a series of reforms.
The new department will provide support to countries to assess, integrate, regulate and maximise the opportunities of digital technologies and artificial intelligence.
Reforms include the development of a new “Data, Analytics and Delivery” division to significantly “significantly enhance the collection, storage, analysis and usage of data to drive policy change in countries”.
WHO said that the measures were developed by its Global Policy Group after a long period of consultation with staff.
“This is a historic moment for the WHO. For the first time, heads of the 7 main offices have worked together to identify the changes we need at all three levels of the WHO – headquarters, regional offices and national offices – to transform this great organization and make us more effective and efficient“, said in a speech General Manager Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
WHO decision stems from the awareness that, worldwide, artificial intelligence and digital health are changing the way healthcare is practiced and that there are many opportunities to be seized, challenges to be overcome and policy decisions to be taken.
This is certainly good news and will have positive repercussions for the whole digital health sector.