The United Nations Foundation working with Vodafone Group Foundation to strengthen health data systems by digitalizing it in Africa.
The United Nations Foundation and Vodafone Group Foundation’s Technology Partnership announced the start of a conference session designed to harness the potential of mobile health (mHealth) to unlock access to health data and improve healthcare in the developing world. Co-facilitated by the Technology Partnership and the Telemedicine Society of India, the session is part of the Rockefeller Foundation conference “Making the eHealth Connection: Global Partners, Local Solutions.
The mHealth and Mobile Telemedicine session is gathering 25 private sector and public health leaders to explore the challenges, opportunities and way forward in building mHealth systems that can improve the access, efficiency and quality of health services in the developing world. The overarching goal of the Rockefeller Foundation conference is to develop a roadmap and global partnerships that support the use of emerging digital technologies to improve public health.
Claire Thwaites, Technology Partnership Head, UN Foundation and Vodafone Group Foundation said,
As global trends such as climate change, the food crisis, and human migration place increasing strains on developing country health systems, there is an ever larger need for technological innovation to help strengthen international public health efforts. Developments in the field of mHealth in particular are creating a remarkable opportunity to bring about a sea change in healthcare delivery, even in the most resource-poor environments she added.
mHealth session participants include representatives of Cisco, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, and Qualcomm, as well as the Earth Institute, Gates Foundation, MIT, and the UN World Health Organization. Over the week, participants will examine the landscape of mHealth and mobile telemedicine, assess priority issues, and identify potential next steps for a multi-sector partnership dedicated to advancing mHealth programs in the Global South.
Mitul Shah, Senior Director of Technology at the United Nations Foundation said, Mobile phone use is exploding across the developing world, offering the opportunity to leapfrog other applications and services on both the health and technology fronts. This collaborative effort with the Rockefeller Foundation and the other private sector and public health leaders assembled here this week opens the door for the kind of broader, public-private partnership that could bring us to a tipping point in addressing some of the most intractable public health challenges.