The World Health Organisation (WHO) and European Commission have announced the inauguration of a significant partnership in digital health to benefit people in receiving quality services around the world.
In a statement issued on June 5, both organisations stated that this collaboration serves as the initial foundation of the WHO Global Digital Health Certification Network (GDHCN).
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, affirms the partnership marked an important milestone in the EU Global Health Strategy’s digital action plan.
According to Kyriakides, “By using European best practices we contribute to digital health standards and interoperability globally to the benefit of those most in need. It is also a powerful example of how alignment between the EU and the WHO can deliver better health for all, in the EU and across the world.
“As the directing and coordinating authority on international health work, there is no better partner than the WHO to advance the work we started at the EU. It will further develop global digital health solutions.”
Meanwhile, the statement revealed that in June 2023, the WHO will adopt the EU system of digital COVID-19 certification to create a universal system that facilitates international mobility and safeguards individuals worldwide from ongoing and future health threats, including pandemics.
The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, stressed that the objective of the new digital health products under development is to enable people worldwide to receive quality health services promptly and efficiently.
Ghebreyesus explained that WHO intends to provide all its Member States with access to an open-source digital health tool, guided by the principles of transparency, equity, data protection and innovation.
Additionally, the statement noted that the initiative is based on the EU and WHO Global Health Strategy on digital health, following the agreement reached on November 30, 2022.
However, the two organisations are committed to strengthening their strategic cooperation on global health matters, reinforcing a robust multilateral system with the WHO at its core, supported by a strong EU.
The Commissioner for Internal Market, Mr Thierry Breton, emphasized that the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate has set a universal standard with its connection to 80 countries and territories.