Riyadh Global Digital Health Summit Looks at Technology in Combating COVID-19

As part of the programs of the Saudi Secretariat for the G20, a two-day virtual global summit for digital health was launched in Riyadh last week, Arab News informs.

It aims to adopt new technological solutions, improve quality and accessibility, and reduce costs to counter the negative effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Dr. Bandar Al-Knawy, CEO Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs and summit president, highlighted the steps taken by the Kingdom in the wake of the pandemic and the successful organization of the annual Hajj pilgrimage amid the health crisis.

WHO Chief Information Officer Bernardo Mariano Jr. reviewed the role of his organization in combating epidemics. He said the coronavirus pandemic has not only affected public health but it has also affected economic and social aspects of human life.

Mariano Jr. gave a presentation on how to deal with epidemics in the era of digital technology. He deplored that the public health sector was not as digitally advanced as other sectors such as media, finance, and education.
He urged measures to ensure the rapid transformation of the health sector along modern lines.

Panel discussions were also held on the first day of the summit covering several health-related issues and on ways to deal with diseases using modern technology.

The summit brought together leaders of health care systems, public health, digital health, academic institutions, and businesses to discuss the vital role of digital health in the fight against current and future pandemics.

It has been organized by the Ministry of National Guard’s Health Affairs Department and G20 Saudi Secretariat, in collaboration with the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships.

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