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Beyond Interoperability: Working together in the age of digital health

The Global Goods Guidebook is the newest addition to the resources supporting greater collaboration in the digital health sector.  

Digital health is experiencing unprecedented growth in coordination and collaboration. Governments, funders, technology experts, and implementers, are working together in new and innovative ways. Collaboration requires shared language, shared values, and a shared vision. Many of these were codified in 2015 with the Principles of Digital Development—a set of nine principles that guide our actions and partnerships. Then last year, donors endorsed a set of Digital Investment Principles. The Digital Investment Principles describe the role investors have in promoting scalable, sustainable, accessible, interoperable, and evidence-based digital health systems. Both sets of principles have rallied  stakeholders around our shared responsibility to help countries meet their digital health needs. 

Digital Square is another mechanism that brings the digital health sector together. Our unique position provides us a broad view of innovation and allows us to collect information and insights, identify new opportunities for partnerships, and build upon our collective vision of digital health. By supporting co-investment, global goods, and digital market readiness, Digital Square facilitates collaboration in the sector.    

Collaboration through global goods  

Digital health global goods have an important role to play as the sector moves away from pilots and proof-of-concept demonstrations, toward holistic, strategic digital health systems that are country-led and country-managed. Global goods take several and forms—software, services, and content—to fulfill the technology needs of health systems. Many of the global goods are designed to work together; global data and technology standards, new interoperability architectures, and other technology solutions are building new bridges between global goods of all types. 

Digital Square encourages collaboration among global goods through our Open Application Process. This process enables transparent feedback, creates opportunities for new partnerships, and helps developers refine their ideas. The design of the Open Application Process aims to reduce redundancy and duplication of efforts, while also creating a stronger roster of digital health tools.  

Introducing the Global Goods Guidebook  

The Global Goods Guidebook continues our work promoting the uptake and adoption of global goods. This new resource spotlights a number of established and emergent global goods that have been invested in or deployed with Digital Square’s support. The Guidebook provides users with information on available tools, what they are used for, where they have been applied, and how they work together. 

The Guidebook provides a glimpse of the growing community of global goods and serves as a centralized resource for anyone who wants a view into digital health tools. By linking to other available resources, this is yet another way the digital health community is coming together to make digital health systems easier to design and implement. Periodically, Digital Square will publish a new version of the Guidebook—adding more global goods and more resources for stakeholders.  

GET THE GUIDEBOOK HERE.  

Digital Square is about more than what we do—it’s about what we enable. Our work, including the Global Goods Guidebook, facilitates collaboration in the digital health sector in order to meet the needs of governments and communities around the world.