Dr. Alain Labrique, associate professor of international Hhealth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, led the publication of a series of reviews and commentaries in the journal Global Health Science and Practice that evaluates the ever-growing overlap between health systems and digital health. The Johns Hopkins University Global mHealth Initiative and the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the special issue on the state-of-the-art in digital health and its place in future health systems at the Fifth Annual Global Symposium on Health Systems on Health Systems Research in Liverpool last week. In the special issue’s six papers, authors present key research, policies, and funding priorities that will help guide digital health investments in low- and middle-income countries. The special issue, which also included an editorial, was supported by a grant from the Aetna Foundation.
In May of this year, the WHO issued a resolution with all member states recognizing the importance of digital systems for facilitating health systems strengthening and achieving universal health coverage. The resolution identified that coordinated, systematic, and evidence-based approaches which WHO, with member states and partners, will need to prioritize to ensure that the full potential of digital health can be realized. This series of papers provides an assessment of the current evidence available, as well as a foundation on which to continue advancing this new and quickly evolving global health domain.