WHO & EU launch global certification network for Digital Health

Partnership with World Health Organization builds upon the EU’s successful COVID-19 digitalcertification system, bolsters the European Commission’s reputation as a key player in global healthcare andunderscores the effectiveness of the European Commission’s healthcare policies and regulatory frameworks. 

This is the News: 

  1. WHO and European Commission launch a partnership to establish a Global Digital Health Certification Network (GDHCN), set to be operational this month (June 2023).
  2. The initiative expands upon the EU’s digital COVID-19 certification network, a model that has already been adopted by 80 countries and territories worldwide.
  3. Grounded in the EU Global Health Strategy and WHO Global strategy on digital health, the partnership enhances the strategic cooperation on global health issues as agreed upon in November 2022.
  4. The WHO and the European Commission will closely collaborate in the development, management, and implementation of the WHO GDHCN, leveraging the European Commission’s technical expertise.
  5. The long-term goal is to provide better health for all, ensuring data protection and privacy, and facilitating the participation of low and middle-income countries in global digital health initiatives.

This is the impact: The partnership between the WHO and the European Commission could mark a significant step forward in global health digitalization. The implementation of the GDHCN can help streamline and standardize health data management, enhance patient services, and facilitate professional collaboration across borders. The GDHCN could potentially speed up response times in future health crises and mitigate their impacts. It also affirms the commitment to equity and data privacy in health services, which are essential values for healthcare provision. Moreover, the emphasis on providing opportunities for low and middle-income countries to participate in the initiative signals an important stride towards global health equity. This translates to potentially more resources, better infrastructure, and improved health outcomes for underserved regions. The partnership ultimately symbolizes an important progression towards a more connected, equitable, and effective global healthcare system.

People You Need to Know:

1. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General: Dr. Tedros highlighted the WHO’s intent to offer all Member States access to an open-source digital health tool, with a focus on “equity, innovation, transparency, and data protection and privacy.” He underscored the goal of the digital health products in development, stating they aim to “help people everywhere receive quality health services quickly and more effectively.”

2. Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety: Commissioner Kyriakides emphasized the significance of the partnership in advancing the EU Global Health Strategy’s digital action plan. She stated that using European best practices would “contribute to digital health standards and interoperability globally,” especially for those most in need. She underscored that alignment between the EU and the WHO could deliver better health for all, both within the EU and across the world.

3. Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market: Commissioner Breton emphasized the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate’s success, which has been adopted by 80 countries and territories and has set a global standard. He highlighted that the certificate had not only been an essential tool in the fight against the pandemic but had also facilitated international travel and tourism. He expressed his pleasure that the WHO would build on the “privacy-preserving principles and cutting-edge technology” of the EU certificate to create a global tool against future pandemics.

An endorsement of the EU’s healthcare work

The WHO’s adoption of the EU’s digital COVID-19 certification network as a global standard showcases the effectiveness of the European Commission’s healthcare policies. It not only validates the European Commission’s Global Health Strategy but also signifies the success of its Covid-19 response strategy that in parts had been adopted by 80 countries. This collaboration sets a precedent for future cooperation, potentially increasing the European Commission’s influence in global healthcare policy-making and digital health initiatives.

Visit the GDHCN: https://www.who.int/initiatives/global-digital-health-certification-network