Mapping a digital health blueprint

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Developing policy and strategic road map for digital health has been recommended to expand the sector development with the engagement of the private sector.
Under consultations that evaluated to identify the opportunities and challenges in private health sector development, particularly along with; policy, regulations, standards, and procedural impediments for market entry and expansion, a recommendation has been put forth for the government to design a policy framework along with a strategic road map to boost the social sector with the latest development in the global arena.
The consultation that identified three critical areas of interventions for deep-dive analyses, included; the need to review health facility standards and licensing, the need to develop a new standard for office medical practice such as “doctors’ plaza”, and the need to review and expand private sector engagement whilst leveraging on digital health added that the need of paving a clear way for effective governance in digital health technology, is a necessity.
It has also recommended the establishment of a strong digital health platform, an Integrated and standardized digital innovations for health, cultivation for the digital health financial sources and investments, and enhancements on the digital health capacity and literacy.
Besides that it added the alignment of digital health policy and strategy to global, regional and national goals including developing a patient-centric digital health ecosystem.
The priority pillars to address for Ethiopia’s digital health ecosystem policy and planning process are: expand the literacy, integration of private sector under self organization and public sector integration initiative, and promotion of entrepreneurship via financial and other instruments to expand the sector for innovation.
“The two key building blocks for successful digital health ecosystem implementation in Ethiopia are; an effective, resourced inclusive digital health policy dialogue platform, and data integration and analytics to inform policy making that includes end users and providers,” it said.
The consultations confirmed that despite the country’s significant progress across key health indicators, the private sector in health remains small with limited engagement. “More needs to be done based on the known advantages of strategic private sector engagement in other countries to support and scale public health and government responses,” it amplified.
It added that the expansion of digital health have several initial strengths to achieve the expected goals, while weakness like not including the sector on the digital transformation and small private sector innovation, lack of skilled professionals and brain drain, financing and others derail the progress of the sector.
The consultations that were led by Precise Consult International also highlight in an outcome document, the various opportunities and possible threats like health data complexity that shall be seen on the implementation process.