Successfully Implementing Digital Health to Ensure Future Global Health Security During Pandemics: A Consensus Statement

Bandar Al Knawy, Mollie Marian Mckillop, Joud Abduljawad, Sasu Tarkoma, Mahmood Adil, Louise Schaper, Adam Chee, David W. Bates, Michael Klag, Uichin Lee, Zisis Kozlakidis, George Crooks, Kyu Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Importance: COVID-19 has highlighted widespread chronic underinvestment in digital health that hampered public health responses to the pandemic. Recognizing this, the Riyadh Declaration on Digital Health, formulated by an international interdisciplinary team of medical, academic, and industry experts at the Riyadh Global Digital Health Summit in August 2020, provided a set of digital health recommendations for the global health community to address the challenges of current and future pandemics. However, guidance is needed on how to implement these recommendations in practice. Objective: To develop guidance for stakeholders on how best to deploy digital health and data and support public health in an integrated manner to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics. Evidence Review: Themes were determined by first reviewing the literature and Riyadh Global Digital Health Summit conference proceedings, with experts independently contributing ideas. Then, 2 rounds of review were conducted until all experts agreed on the themes and main issues arising using a nominal group technique to reach consensus. Prioritization was based on how useful the consensus recommendation might be to a policy maker. Findings: A diverse stakeholder group of 13 leaders in the fields of public health, digital health, and health care were engaged to reach a consensus on how to implement digital health recommendations to address the challenges of current and future pandemics. Participants reached a consensus on high-priority issues identified within 5 themes: team, transparency and trust, technology, techquity (the strategic development and deployment of technology in health care and health to achieve health equity), and transformation. Each theme contains concrete points of consensus to guide the local, national, and international adoption of digital health to address challenges of current and future pandemics. Conclusions and Relevance: The consensus points described for these themes provide a roadmap for the implementation of digital health policy by all stakeholders, including governments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere220214
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 23 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Successfully Implementing Digital Health to Ensure Future Global Health Security During Pandemics: A Consensus Statement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this