GFDD Participates in Forum “Digital Health for Digital Development,” Organized by South-South News

June 13, 2011

On June 10, 2011, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) attended the high-level forum “Digital Health for Digital Development: Connecting the Millennium Development Goals and Non-Communicable Diseases in 2011,” organized by South-South News in partnership with Digital He@lth Initiative at UN Headquarters in NYC. The objective behind the meeting was to develop and enhance global partnerships aimed at
realization of health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and global communicable and non-communicable disease targets.

 Senior representatives from prominent institutions and agencies in the fields of innovation and communications technologies and public health participated, including: Johnson & Johnson, UNICEF, Google, Pfizer, Intel, Kaiser Permanente, Alcatel-Lucent and Health World Organization. Stakeholders discussed how technological
innovation can be harnessed to advance healthcare servicing. Digital health literacy as means of preventative health was amongst the innovative trends examined during the forum. “Health score cards” were one of many new multisectoral initiatives in the works to assist patients in making healthier life choices.

Other topics explored included telemedicine, e-prescribing, health applications for mobile technology, and the role of cloud-based resources in
the facilitation of document sharing amongst diverse healthcare providers for superior medical evaluation and diagnosis.
Participants also advocated how technology can help to expedite servicing and information sharing in all areas, citing the role of Twitter and the use of cash transfer programs as development tools via mobile phones.

Authorities present in the realm of public health made the case that it is not pragmatic to have a differentiated
communicable disease/ non-communicable disease agenda. Dr. Ian Pett, Chief of Health Systems for UNICEF argued that we must instead analyze rationally the real burden of disease. Dr. Scott Ratzan, Vice President of Global Health for Johnson & Johnson took the discussion one step further, stating that non-communicable diseases that occur later on in life can often be linked back to health conditions associated with child and maternal health.

GFDD attend seminars
and conferences about issues impacting the global community in order to remain at the forefront of academic debate and network with renowned experts, as part of their mission to bring world-class programs concerning social and economic development and democratization to the Dominican Republic.

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