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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - RIYADH — The Riyadh Global Digital Health Summit (RGDHS) concluded Thursday with the unveiling of the Riyadh Declaration, which lays out an actionable road map to enable international healthcare systems to contend with global pandemics.
“The emphasis on digital health is critical as it plays a fundamental role in supporting health emergency management by strengthening existing response mechanisms.
“The collaborative efforts exerted by all participants are showcased in the success of this momentous event and by the announcement of the Riyadh Digital Health Declaration,” said Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, minister of health, during the summit’s conclusion.
Dr. Bandar Al-Knawy CEO, Ministry of National Guard - Health Affairs, president, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, and president of the Riyadh Global Health Summit, summarized the main tenant of the declaration.
“This declaration is a call to action to create the infrastructure to share good digital health evidence-based practices and real-time high quality data to enable more health systems and countries to have actionable insights.”
The Riyadh Declaration consists of core insights and recommendations compiled by international leaders of healthcare systems, public health, digital health, academic institutions and businesses that convened over the two-day virtual event.
The declaration highlights nine priority recommendations needed to combat future global health crises:
1. Effectively implement data-driven and evidence-based protocols for clear and effective communication with common messaging in order to build citizens’ trust;
2. Work with global stakeholders to confront mis/disinformation propagation through social media platforms and mass media;
3. Establish standard global minimum data set for public health data reporting as well as a data governance structure tailored specifically to communicate diseases;
4. Ensure countries have established priority in relation to date and digital health, in particular the Digital Maturity and infrastructure;
5. Enable health and care organizations with the necessary technology to transform high quality, timely data collection and sharing for applied health intelligence;
6. Cultivate a health and care workforce with the knowledge, skills and training in data and digital technologies required to face current and future pandemic health challenges;
7. Ensure surveillance systems combine an effective public health response with respect of ethical and privacy principles;
8. Develop digital personal tools and services to support comprehensive health programs (disease prevention, testing, management, and vaccination program) globally;
9. Maintain, continue to fund, and innovate surveillance data systems as a core part of the connected global health system for rapid preparedness and optimal global response.
The forum attracted 135,000 registrants from 144 countries and was viewed virtually by over 300,000 nonregistered viewers who tuned in to learn how digital public health technological advances are helping combat viral pandemics.
The range of topics covered during summit included digital epidemiology, pandemic prediction models, behavioral medicine, digital public health, Artificial Intelligence and robotics in healthcare, wellness technologies, and telehealth.
The summit was organized by the Ministry of National Guard’s Health Affairs Department and G20 Saudi Secretariat in collaboration with the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships, and is part of International Conferences Program in G20 Saudi Secretariat honoring the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s presidency year.
It follows the G20 Extraordinary Summit held on March 26, 2020, during which G20 member countries expressed their commitment to providing a united front to combatting COVID-19. — SG
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