Media release - Digital health leaders meet in United States to forge global plans

Digital health leaders from 16 countries, Hong Kong SAR and the World Health Organization (WHO) are participating in the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP), which has held its second Summit hosted in Washington DC on April 24-25. Participants discussed approaches to global collaboration in a range of topics related to the delivery of digital health services and associated policy priorities.

GDHP Washington 2018
Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey and Chief Medical Adviser Meredith Makeham with participants at the second Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) Summit 2018 in Washington DC

The GDHP is a collaborative of governments, territories, government agencies, and the World Health Organisation to support effective implementation of digital health services. It was initiated in February 2018 in Canberra, Australia.

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Republic of Belarus, Canada, Hong Kong SAR, India, Republic of Indonesia, Italy, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, United States, and the World Health Organization (WHO) are participating in the GDHP.

The GDHP is a platform for international healthcare leaders to share best practice in the use of data and technology to advance health and care, said Tim Kelsey, CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency, which hosts the GDHP secretariat.

“Digital technologies can improve the safety, quality, and effectiveness of healthcare, support earlier diagnosis of disease and the development of new medicines and treatments,” said Mr Kelsey. “They empower patients, citizens and the care professionals who serve them.”

The United States hosted the meeting in Washington. “The Global Digital Health Partnership is a unique opportunity to both collaborate with other nations by sharing best practices in digital health and to adopt innovative strategies that have worked well abroad,” US Department of Health and Human Services Chief Technology Officer Bruce D. Greenstein said.

“The United States is excited to participate in the GDHP. Every nation brings a unique perspective on health IT to the partnership and I’m looking forward to learning from them and bringing back valuable lessons learned to our work here in the US,” said Dr Don Rucker, National Coordinator, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Dr Rucker chairs the GDHP work stream on Interoperability, one of five programs that are the focus of the international collaboration.

Summit participants have agreed five topics for collaboration that focus on interoperability, cybersecurity, clinician and consumer engagement, evaluation of the impact of digital health and related policy priorities, including privacy and consent.

“GDHP offers participating countries an opportunity to share their knowledge and learn from international evidence in a range of key areas relevant to digital health policy and service delivery. This can guide the way we develop our local initiatives to improve health and care,” said Clinical Professor Meredith Makeham, Chief Medical Adviser at the Australian Digital Health Agency who leads the GDHP secretariat.

Austrade led a trade mission to the Health Datapalooza event which followed the GDHP summit in Washington, supported by the ADHA. Austrade Senior Trade Commissioner in New York Nicola Watkinson said digital health was one of the fastest-growing sectors in health, both in the US and globally.

“Our Australian Digital Health Mission to the US, the first such mission of its kind, will provide insights into the local market, explore opportunities in digital health hubs in the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions, and forge meaningful partnerships across the US. Austrade is delighted to host this delegation,” Ms Watkinson said.


Media contact David Cooper, Senior Media Manager
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About the Global Digital Health Partnership For further information about the GDHP please visit the website

About the Australian Digital Health Agency The Agency is tasked with improving health outcomes for all Australians through the delivery of digital healthcare systems, and implementing Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy – Safe, Seamless, and Secure: evolving health and care to meet the needs of modern Australia in collaboration with partners across the community. The Agency is the System Operator of My Health Record, and provides leadership, coordination, and delivery of a collaborative and innovative approach to utilising technology to support and enhance a clinically safe and connected national health system. These improvements will give individuals more control of their health and their health information, and support healthcare providers to deliver informed healthcare through access to current clinical and treatment information. Further information:

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