Wed. May 29th, 2024
  • The intersection of digital health and the digital economy has the potential to transform healthcare and societal structures, according to Nigeria’s Minister of Communications Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani.
  • Technology is enhancing healthcare, offering solutions like telehealth and wearable devices, and pushing the shift from a reactive model of healthcare delivery to a proactive and personalised approach.
  • The digital transformation is also a key driver of economic growth, innovation, and inclusivity, with digital health contributing to economic productivity, as a healthy population is a more productive workforce.

Healthcare is adjusting to the digital age, shedding its old ways and adopting advanced technologies. These digital technologies, ranging from telehealth solutions that enable virtual consultations to wearable devices that track health in real-time, empower individuals to take control of their well-being. In addition, these innovations create a suite of services that focus on prevention, efficiency, and inclusivity.

Moreover, the discourse highlighted the interdependent relationship between digital health and the economy. A thriving digital economy relies on connectivity, and the expansion of fibre infrastructure aids this, fostering an environment for businesses to grow. The minister pointed out how enhanced healthcare through digital means reduces the economic burden of treating preventable illnesses by prioritising preventive care.

Understanding and addressing the unique needs of the population, such as menstrual health, can lead to a more inclusive and gender-sensitive economy. By destigmatising menstrual health, organisations can create environments that support the well-being and productivity of all individuals, thus creating a more equitable and sustainable economic landscape.

The rise of digital natives, especially Millennials and Gen Z, is driving this shift, as their dissatisfaction with traditional models pushes for more consumer-focused, inclusive healthcare. Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a crucial role in reducing bias and ensuring compliance with essential practices related to Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health.

However, there are challenges to be addressed, including the need for strategic policymaking, robust cybersecurity measures, and substantial infrastructure investments to facilitate a smooth transition. Public-private sector collaboration is crucial to this transition, exemplified by the partnering effort to expand fibre infrastructure.

Together, the merging of digital health and the digital economy symbolise not just a technological evolution, but a holistic shift towards a consumer-centric, inclusive, and technologically-enabled healthcare landscape. As we move forward into the digital future, it’s vital to thoughtfully navigate these changes to ensure advancements benefit all, leaving no one behind in the pursuit of better health and well-being.

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