October 30, 2019 (Berlin, Germany) — Digital and data tools and technologies are changing approaches to health and the design of health systems, but governance models have not followed the pace of innovation. The Lancet has partnered with the Financial Times for a joint Commission entitled Governing health futures 2030: Growing up in a digital world, launched at the Charité medical university in Berlin, Germany. Rohinton P. Medhora, President of the Centre for International Governance Innovation, has been named a member of the Commission.
This Commission will explore the convergence of digital health, artificial intelligence, and other frontier technologies with universal health coverage, focusing on the health of children and young people. The Lancet are the convenors of the Commission, and the Financial Times will support the Commission by hosting parallel discussions with the business community, which can inform the findings of this work.
Given its crosscutting nature, the Commission is supported by independent Commissioners with expertise across medicine, social sciences, e-health, big data analytics, mental health, policy, economics, research, and more. The Commission is co-chaired by Professor Ilona Kickbusch, Chair of the International Advisory Board at the Global Health Centre of The Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and Dr. Anurag Agrawal, Director of the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology in New Delhi, India.
“As is always the case, advances in technology — this time in the digital and AI realms — hold great promise for human well-being, but not without potential pitfalls. And, as always, policy and governance responses nationally and globally lag behind developments in the laboratories and in the field. To be able to think through these issues with a high-powered, multidisciplinary set of fellow Commissioners, under the umbrella of The Lancet and the Financial Times, is indeed a privilege. I know the Commission model will be a potent combination of content and process to spawn big ideas and make them impactful,” said Medhora.
The Commission will look particularly at children and young people in a digital age, seeking to identify specific instruments to safeguard their rights, as well as opportunities to engage in this discussion. More than three billion people are under the age of 30, and 1.8 billion of these people are between the ages of 10 and 24. These young people may be the first to demand and gain a clear set of rights in relation to rapid technological development for their health and well-being.
In attendance at the launch, German Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn said, “Digitalization in health care is a key topic on the national and global agenda. New digital technologies open up a variety of opportunities with the potential to enable access and improve the quality and efficiency of health care worldwide. That is why Germany is currently putting in a lot of effort to take up speed in the national implementation process to introduce our Digital Health Infrastructure. Our aim is to create a digital ecosystem which brings different sectors and views together. The international and interdisciplinary composition of the Commission reflects this integrated approach. We are pleased to host their first meeting in Berlin.”
Integration of digital technologies and artificial intelligence to support the achievement of universal health coverage and health equity is a consideration of the Commission, as well as investigating the concerns about data ownership and privacy.
"Equitable opportunity for accessing and using health data, while respecting individual privacy, is central to providing effective and universal health coverage at a global scale. The guiding principle of such data democratization should be - of the people, by the people, for the people,” said Agrawal, who also spoke at a pre-launch panel on ‘Health Data as a Global Public Good’ at the World Health Summit on Tuesday, October 29.
The first Commissioners meeting began this afternoon and will continue until 31 October, in a closed, all-day session. The report is expected for end of 2021. The Commission is funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, Fondation Botnar, and the Wellcome Trust.
For more information, visit https://www.governinghealthfutures2030.org/ and follow the conversation on Twitter @GHFutures2030.
About The Lancet
Founded in 1823, the Lancet family of world-class journals is committed to improving lives through medical research. With offices in London, New York, and Beijing, The Lancet publishes a weekly journal and monthly specialty journals in the fields of child & adolescent health, diabetes & endocrinology, digital health, gastroenterology & hepatology, global health, haematology, HIV, infectious diseases, neurology, oncology, planetary health, psychiatry, public health, respiratory medicine, and rheumatology.
About the Financial Times
The Financial Times (FT) is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity, and accuracy. The FT has a record paying readership of one million, three-quarters of which are digital subscriptions. It is part of Nikkei Inc., which provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community.
About the Centre for International Governance Innovation
CIGI is an independent, non-partisan think tank with an objective and uniquely global perspective. Our research, opinions and public voice make a difference in today’s world by bringing clarity and innovative thinking to global policy making.
Co-chairs and Commissioners
- Professor Ilona Kickbusch, Co-chair Chair of the International Advisory Board, Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland
- Dr. Anurag Agrawal, Co-chair Director, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, India
- Professor Ran Balicer, Founding Director, Clalit Research Institute; Chief Innovation Officer, Clalit Health Services, Israel
- Professor Olivia Banner, Assistant Professor, Critical Media Studies and Networked Cultures in the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication, University of Texas at Dallas, United States
- Dr. Christoph Beier, Vice-Chair Management Board, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Germany
- Dr. Emanuele Capobianco, Director Health & Care, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Switzerland
- Christopher Fabian, Co-chair, UN, Innovation Network; Co-founder, Innovation Unit & Senior Advisor on Innovation, UNICEF, United States
- Ambassador Amandeep Gill, Director, International Digital Health & AI Research Collaborative (I-DAIR) of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland
- Professor Deborah Lupton, SHARP Professor, Vitalities Lab, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia
- Dr. Rohinton Medhora, President, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Canada
- Njide Ndili, Country Director, PharmAccess Foundation, Nigeria
- Dr Andrzej Rys, Director for Health Systems, Medical Products and Innovation, DG Health and Food Safety, European Commission , Belgium
- Nanjira Sambuli, Senior Policy Manager, World Wide Web Foundation, Kenya
- Dykki Settle. Chief Digital Officer & Director, Center of Digital and Data Excellence; Board Chair of Digital Square, PATH, United States
- Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, WHO, Switzerland
- Dr. Jeanette Vega Morales, Chief Medical Innovation and Technology Officer, Red de Salud UC-CHRISTUS, Chile
- Professor Miranda Wolpert, Head of Mental Health Priority Area, Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom
- Andrew Wyckoff, Director, Director for Science Technology and Innovation, OECD, France
- Dr. Lan Xue, Professor and Dean, The Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University, China