We have all experienced the reality of poor health, through personal experiences with our families, our friends or colleagues. We all want access to good healthcare, no matter where we live. As global leaders, we have a great responsibility toward the health of our societies and must be committed to take bold actions.
This motivated us to collaborate on a new report on Digital Health which calls for government leadership to move forward digital health, authored by the Broadband Commission Working Group on Digital Health co-chaired by the Novartis Foundation and Nokia.
Why Did We Launch This Report?
First and foremost, we have committed to break silos by bringing experienced partners together from the health care and ICT industries.
The objective is to facilitate the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage (Sustainable Development Goal 3; Target 3.8) by leveraging technology.
Digital health has the potential to increase the health and well-being of billions of people who do not have access to care.
With digital health solutions poised to bring medical care and services to an estimated 1.6 billion people in the coming years, countries need national digital health plans and policies that draw together health and ICT ministries and harmonize the fragmented ecosystem of digital health solutions and programmes.
What Are The Outcomes Of The Report?
This report, which is intended to be action-orientated, calls on government leaders to advance digital health by developing and implementing national digital health strategies that effectively foster cooperation between ICT and health.
The Working Group has outlined key governance mechanisms that promote effective collaboration between health and ICT stakeholders.
“We need continuous committed leadership from government with sustained financial resources to ensure a strong national digital health strategy. A growing number of technology-based health initiatives have taken shape in recent years. Only a few of those have reached scale and achieved long-term sustainability – the majority of projects have not made it past the pilot phase.” says Ann Aerts, Head of the Novartis Foundation.
“That is why sustained leadership of policy makers and intragovernmental collaboration must guide the progress of designing and implementing a national digital health strategy, beginning at the planning stage.”
Key Factors for Success
According to the World Health Organization, 63% of their member state countries have already defined national digital health strategies. The report highlights case studies to illustrate a variety of national digital health measures that have achieved success in developing and implementing digital health.
The examples demonstrate governance mechanisms that effectively encourage cooperation between health and ICT entities, including special emphasis on funding, national frameworks and standards.
For example, in the Philippines, close cooperation between health and ICT ministries, including a joint memorandum of understanding with clear roles and responsibilities, provided a solid basis for implementing a national digital health strategy.
In countries with decentralized federal systems, such as Canada, the creation of a separate agency for digital health has enabled provinces to implement solutions in line with national digital health plans.
Where Do We Draw These Outcomes From?
We conducted eight case studies around the world to give examples of successes and challenges of increased collaboration between ICT and health ministries, and while not prescriptive, they do offer examples across a variety of geographic, cultural and social settings. The aim is to move digital health strategies forward in a way that benefits the most people and helps achieve the SDG for health and well-being.
“Technology is helping us move to a more human-centric approach to healthcare. It gives us an enhanced, sophisticated, detailed capability to track even the smallest changes in our health, allowing us to trace trends in heart rate, blood pressure, or blood sugar,” says Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia. “Today we are capable to push the frontiers of healthcare by using technology to reach the remotest of locations, harnessing the power of mobile devices to help health professionals bring the most efficient medical techniques and highest quality of care to every community. But the true power of technology is felt when people are empowered to protect and preserve their own health.”
The overarching message of the report highlights the role of government leadership in fostering an enabling environment for digital health policies, harmonizing standards to promote interoperability, developing appropriate legislation to ensure security and privacy measures as well as mitigating challenges related to duplication of efforts.
The Road to Digital Health
The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development was established in 2010 and comprises more than 50 leaders from across a range of government and industry sectors.
As part of the Broadband Commission, the Working Group on Digital Health examines issues related to eHealth/mHealth, and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for health purposes.
The Broadband Commission Working Group on Digital Health is co-chaired by the Novartis Foundation and Nokia and is composed of leading digital health experts from governments, international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic institutions and the private sector.
The Working Group commissioned Vital Wave to conduct research and to interview digital health leaders from twenty countries to explore the role governments play in developing and implementing digital health.
The Digital Health report builds off of the ITU and WHO National eHealth Strategy Toolkit and offers practical guidance on leadership, governance and intra-governmental cooperation to leaders in health and ICT who wish to adopt a digital health strategy.
UN Broadband Commission Working Group on Digital Health, chaired by Dr Ann Aerts and Rajeev Suri
Jumia Partners Reckitt Benkiser, Nokia, Others to Enable Consumers Access Quality Products
Jumia has launched a Brand Festival campaign in partnership with top global brands such as Reckitt Benkiser, Unilever, Nokia, Intel, HP, Nexus, Hisense, Sharp, Samsung, Binatone, XIAOMI, ABSOLUT, Dettol, and Logitech.
The campaign which is scheduled to run from September 21st to 27th, will provide consumers access to top quality products directly from the manufacturers, eliminating all third parties, thereby reducing the cost of the products, which will enable consumers to save money.
Jumia Nigeria CEO, Massimiliano Spalazzi, said: “The aim of the campaign is to enable our consumers to save more money while getting the best quality products directly from the brand manufacturers. Consumers today are more conscious of the quality of the product they buy on Jumia, and at the same time want to save money while shopping.
In the wake of COVID-19, we have continued to strive to operate so that consumers can continue to stay at home, use e-commerce to shop, and stay safe in this trying time. We are proud to partner with Unilever, Nokia and other top brands as part of our commitment to provide customers easy access to quality products directly from the manufacturers at best prices.
Head of Key Accounts and e-Commerce at Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria Ltd, Afam Onwordi, stated that: “We have enjoyed a good and healthy relationship with Jumia in the last couple of years.
“As our fight in RB is making access to the highest quality hygiene, wellness and nourishment a right and NOT a privilege, we would therefore always seize the opportunity of every major event like this (Brand Festival) to reward our consumers with interesting offers and deals across our wide range of products.”
Senior Business Manager at HMD Global, Emmanuel Ossai, said: “For us at HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, we are very excited to be supporting Jumia on this festival for authentic brands in Nigeria.
“We have a commitment to continuously deliver value and believe that this partnership will afford Nigerians more opportunities to enjoy the beauty of quality hardware and the secure Android experience that we offer across our range of Nokia smartphones.
“Interestingly, we have new exciting devices that will be unveiled to our Nigerian customers in the coming weeks and we cannot wait for you to have a feel of hardware magic carefully combined with software excellence. So, keep watching this space.”
TikTok Picks Oracle to Provide ‘Secure’ Cloud Tech
Enterprise software giant Oracle announced that it has been chosen to become TikTok’s “secure” cloud technology provider.
According to Oracle, this technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video-conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.
Oracle’s announcement comes after TikTok parent ByteDance last week said it will not be selling the video-sharing app’s US operations to software giant Microsoft.
This after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order on 6 August, blocking all transactions with ByteDance in an effort to address “national emergency” issues.
On 14 August, the US president issued an order that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the US operations of TikTok.
Since then, US companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have been lining up as potential buyers for the popular short video app.
As the trade war between the US and China rages on, the US government has accelerated its efforts to purge Chinese apps and technology companies that it deems untrustworthy.
Trump and his administration raised national security issues, alleging the Chinese-owned company will share sensitive user data with the Chinese government.
“TikTok picked Oracle’s new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it’s much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first generation technology currently offered by all the other major cloud providers,” says Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison.
“In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) customers on their satisfaction with the top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google Cloud…Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score.”
“As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” says Oracle CEO Safra Catz.
“Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are 100% confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.
“This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”
Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others
inq. Holdings Limited, artificial intelligence service provider, has acquired Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire.
It plans further acquisition in Cameroon subject to regulatory approvals.
Mr. Valentine Chime, managing director, inq. Holdings Limited, said the 100 per cent acquisition of the Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in the three countries was in pursuit of the company’s dream of building pan-African network that will help in creating better future through digital solutions.
Domiciled in Mauritius, inq. Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund, a fund dedicated solely to communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Formerly known as Synergy Communications, the latest acquisition has grown inq.’s regional footprint with operations in 12 cities in seven countries across Africa. It has existing operations in Botswana, Malawi and South Africa with an additional investment in Mozambique.
“Under the inq. banner the company will embark on the next phase of building a unified Pan-African cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud,”Chime said.
According to him, with operations in major African cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gaborone, Lusaka, Ndola, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Abidjan and Johannesburg, the inq. team prides itself on global best practice methodologies customised to local customs in each of the 16 cities, covering different sectors including banking, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, mining, health, real estate, information technologies, public sector and logistics.
“Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and inq. is perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions,” Chime said.
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