Digital and AI in Health

Working Group Co-Chaired by:

Ann Aerts
Head of the Novartis Foundation


Paul Mitchell
Corporate Affairs of Microsoft

Digital and Data Can Transform Health Systems:

Data and digital technology offer health systems an unprecedented ​opportunity to transform and redesign from being reactive to become preventative and predictive, and enable them to deliver coordinated care and prevention throughout the life journey of the people they serve. To achieve that, digital technology must become an integral part of every health system, because it is as essential as hospital beds are.

The availability of massive quantities of data and clo​ud computing, now enable the use of Artificial Intelligence throughout all aspects of our lives, including health. The use of machine learning and natural language processing can make health systems more efficient and potentially overcome several of their weaknesses, including those related to the shortage of health professionals. ​

The Working Group on Data, Digital, and AI in Health ​is the 3rd work-stream of the Commission around the theme of digital health, proposed with the vision of generating knowledge on successes, challenges, and learnings from AI solutions in health. The group aims to raise awareness about how data can be transformative for our health systems by proposing practical recommendations and case studies on AI in global health for use and further validation. This can support health professionals and engineers who are working together to solve the most pressing health priorities in different contexts.

Stakeholder groups that can be interested in this work are policy makers, regulators, academics, clinicians, patients, civil society, private companies, entrepreneurs, donors, NGOs or others who want to further explore the potential of AI in health and learn from insights on its development and implementation.

The report will, in principle, focus on LMICs but may bring forth case studies and examples from high-income countries (HICs). We certainly expect that innovative approaches from LMICs can be of interest and applicable to HICs. 

  1. The group was launched in April 2019 during the Broadband Commission’s Annual Spring Meeting.
  2. The Group held it’s​ kick off call on 21 September 2019 in NYC.​​​


digital and ai in health

Reimagining Global Health through Artificial Intelligence

The Roadmap to AI Maturity

The report holds that while low- and middleincome countries may have the most to gain from the radical potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform health systems, they may also have the most to lose.


Broadband Commissioners

Co-chairs: Dr Ann Aerts, The Novartis Foundation and Mr Paul Mitchell, Microsoft

  1. Bocar Ba, Samena Telecommunications Council
  2. Kevin Martn, Facebook
  3. Carlos Jarque, America Movil
  4. Hans Vestberg, Verizon
  5. Stella  Ndabeni-Abrahams, South Africa
  6. Dato Ir. Lee Yee Cheong, Malaysia
  7. Baroness Beeban Kidron, 5Rights
  8. Fekitamoeloa Utoikamanu, UN-OHRLLS
  9. Amir Dossal, Global Partnerships
  10. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO
  11. Henrietta Fore, UNICEF
  12. Robert Kirkpatrick, UN Global Pulse
  13. Amani Abou-Zeid, African Union
  14. Makhtar Diop, The World Bank
  15. ITU

External Experts

  1. PATH
  2. AeHIN
  3. IntraHealth
  4. Geneva Graduate Institute
  5. Accenture
  6. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  7. Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
  8. MIT Media Lab
  9. AI4Health Focus Group ITU/ WHO
  10. AdaHealth
  11. USAID
  12. Rockfeller Foundation
  13. Massachusetts Institute of Technology