The Geneva-based Global Fund – a partnership established by the G8 group of countries in 2002 to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria across the globe – mobilizes and invests more than US$ 4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries, with a certain focus on Africa, but also operating in Asia and South America. It is the world’s largest financier of AIDS, TB, and malaria prevention, treatment, and care programmes. Its goal is to accelerate the end of these diseases as epidemics.
To improve infrastructure support for such activities in the upcoming 2020 to 2022 funding cycle, and to better assess the quality of the measures implemented and their outcomes, the Digital Health Division of the Fund is developing a comprehensive Digital Health Strategy. This is the background for the Global Fund inviting Prof. Dr. Karl A. Stroetmann, Senior Research Fellow of empirica Communications & Technology Research, to present a “Methodology for Ranking Health Systems’ Readiness for Digital Health – Country & Investment Opportunities.” The underlying ranking model and empirical method were developed in the context of an earlier project in which empirica participated: “Interoperable eHealth Systems for Africa Enhanced by Satellites: ISAES“, a study undertaken by a consortium for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) eHealth for Sub-Saharan Africa (eHSA) Programme.
The small internal Digital Health workshop at the Global Fund took place in Geneva, Switzerland, on July 12, 2019. Interest in empirica’s work in Digital Health for low and middle-income (LMIC) countries was raised by empirica’s study on “Digital Health Ecosystems for African Countries: A Guide for Public and Private Actors for Establishing Holistic Digital Health Ecosystems in Africa“. empirica’s work was commissioned by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit: GIZ (German Corporation for International Cooperation) on behalf of the industry-led Strategic Partnership Digital Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.