Working Group Co-Chaired by:
The COVID-19 pandemic generated unprecedented growth in digital technologies with internet usage rising globally by 70% at the height of the crisis. With billions of people forced to limit their movements and physical interactions, connectivity has enabled the possibility for family and friends to stay in touch, remote working and learning, as well as virtual access to healthcare.
In 2020, global investments in digital health increased by 103% compared to the previous year (from $10.6 billion in 2019 to $21.6 billion in 2020)1. The segment of virtual and AI driven care saw unprecedented adoption, and it is said in some countries, it made more progress in a few months than in the past ten years. Virtual services enabled patients to keep consulting and seeking advice from their doctors without the risk of spreading the virus or being contaminated. In France for example teleconsultation numbers went from an average of 40,000 per month to 4.5 million in April 20202. In China, Ping An Good Doctor registered growth in virtual consultations of +900% just in the month of January 2020. Amwell, a large telemedicine provider in the US also reported a growth of 2,000% between January and March 2020.
Virtual health and care, paired with the use of data and AI, presents multiple benefits for improved patient care and population health.
1. The Group was launched during the Broadband Commission Virtual Annual Spring Meeting on March 22, 2021
- Dr. Ann Aerts, The Novartis Foundation
- Mr. Paul Mitchell, Microsoft
- Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO
- Dr. Carlos Jarque, America Movil
- Mr. Amir Dossal, Global Partnerships Forum
- Dr. Dato Lee Yee Cheong, ISTIC
- Dr. Qu Dongyu, FAO
- Mr. Robert Kirkpatrick, UN Global Pulse