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5 factors for enabling Digital Health

In the digital age, digital health emerges as a fundamental pillar for transforming the global healthcare sector. The World Economic Forum, through extensive studies and strategic collaborations, has identified 5 essential enabling factors for successfully scaling the adoption of digital technology in healthcare systems.

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Il risultato del rapporto del WEF sulla Sanità Digitale

The report from the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group, titled "Transforming Healthcare: Navigating Digital Health with a Value-Driven Approach" is a comprehensive strategy to ensure that digitation in the healthcare field not only improves the efficiency of healthcare operations but also enhances the quality of patient care. The healthcare sector faces persistent and growing challenges that demand greater integration of digital technologies, data, and artificial intelligence.

Indeed, the WEF 's analysis of over 80 global leaders in the healthcare and technology sectors shows that digital innovations in healthcare are abundant, as solutions like predictive AI, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are already being utilized in various healthcare systems. However, it is the integration among these technologies and external obstacles, such as the shortage of staff, rising costs, and the difficulty of providing equitable and universal service, that prevent innovation from taking root and achieving full digital maturity.

The 5 enabling factors for adopting digital health on a large scale

Based on consultations with over 80 global entities in the healthcare and technology sectors, the WEF  has identified 5 essential enabling factors to transform the way care is delivered and to improve the efficiency and accessibility of healthcare services:

  1. Data

  • Collection and Exchange of Health Data: These should be standardized and interoperable, allowing extensive use throughout the care continuum. Moreover, it is essential to ensure high levels of security and privacy. Data serves as the backbone of digital health. The collection and flow of standardized and interoperable health data are crucial. These data must be easily shareable along the entire care continuum, while ensuring maximum security and privacy.

  • Optimization and Standardization: The effectiveness of such systems depends on their ability to operate on common platforms that facilitate the secure and timely sharing of health information. 2. Technology and Analysis 3. Funding and incentives 4. Hybrid delivery of care 5. Regulation and policies

  • Development of Unique Patient IDs: Creating a unique patient ID for each individual allows better traceability and quality of care, significantly contributing to the customization of treatment.

  • Integration with Existing Infrastructures: Platforms should be designed to seamlessly integrate with current technological infrastructures, promoting the use of artificial intelligence for data analysis and management.

Realising these 5 elements is crucial to ensure that digitation in healthcare not only improves the efficiency of healthcare operations but also enhances the quality of patient care

3 examples of success thanks to Data, AI, and Digitation

Here are three case studies drawn from the report that highlight the effectiveness of digitation, data, and artificial intelligence when successfully scaled in healthcare systems:

BioTelemetry uses implanted cardiology sensors in patients through non-invasive procedures to monitor pulmonary arterial pressure. These data are analysed weekly by the medical team, who can intervene early in case of abnormal results, thus reducing hospitalisations for heart failure by 44-62% and improving patients' quality of life.

Osana provides an end-to-end digital healthcare infrastructure for payers, providers, and pharmacies. The solution, which has about 7 million users, includes the management of digital prescriptions and patient monitoring. This has led to a 45% reduction in the costs of allocating appointments and a 38% reduction in appointment absenteeism, significantly improving operational efficiency and reducing healthcare costs.

m-mama m-mama is an emergency transport system that quickly transports pregnant women and newborns with complications to appropriate hospitals. Since the program's inception, m-mama has transported over 28,000 women and newborns and reduced maternal mortality by 38% in the pilot program areas, estimated to have saved over 900 lives.

These cases demonstrate how innovative technological solutions can transform healthcare, significantly improving the effectiveness of care and outcomes for patients when implemented on a large scale.


The journey towards fully digital health is complex and requires coordinated commitment among all healthcare sector stakeholders. However, as highlighted by the case studies and WEF analyses, the potential benefits are immense. Investing in the enabling factors of digital health will not only improve the efficiency of healthcare services but will also make care more accessible and personalized, marking a significant step forward towards more inclusive healthcare systems.


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