mhealth as an enabler for health systems strengthening

Digital Technologies for Health and mobile health tools in particular have immense potential in strengthening health systems for enabling countries to achieve Universal Health Coverage and ensuring health for all.  Digital Technologies has also been recognized as one of the key contributors towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

It is widely recognized that India is a leader in implementing digital health interventions for health systems strengthening and has played a key role in positioning mhealth on the global health agenda.

·      India led the Digital Health Resolution in the 71st World Health Assembly in May 2018 at Geneva and highlighted global attention to the potential, challenges and opportunity related to Digital Health Technology and the need for collaboration on the issue globally.

India successfully hosted the Fourth Summit of Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) in February 2019 and the International Digital Health Symposium and exhibition on 27th February, 2019 in collaboration with the World Health Organization. This event was attended by 34 countries. During this  meeting, India led the drafting and adoption of the Delhi declaration on digital health.
Delhi Declaration on Digital Health for sustainable development was adopted by the GDHP member countries and India has further developed the National Digital Health Blueprint which outlines the implementation strategies and framework.

The National Digital Health Blueprint articulates an ecosystem vision for India, given the importance of mobile networks and the role of mobile internet as a key enabler for empowering citizens in accessing essential health services, the  mhealth track during the India Mobile Congress 2019 will see the convergence of citizen representatives, healthcare,  information technology and communications ecosystem stakeholders along with the governmental agencies. This track aims to articulate a vision for health delivery transformation leveraging mhealth and develop an implementation outline that is multi sectoral, participatory and envisages serving as the integral backbone and neural network of the national digital health ecosystem. 

mHealth Conference Agenda

Health systems face a number of challenges in ensuring that every citizen is able to access the essential health services irrespective of where they live, traditionally labelled as the last mile delivery constraints. In recent years, the telecommunication networks along with drastic reduction in the cost of ownership of mobile phones coupled with highly affordable mobile internet services has resulted in transformation of how most Indians connect with each other and with providers of essential services. This first mile connectivity offered by the mobile telecommunication networks provides an unprecedented opportunity to enable the ecosystems for healthcare transformation. Information asymmetries are a significant contributor to health seeking behaviours, targeted health communications will enable citizens to seek and access healthcare in an empowered manner than ever before. This session will cover the broad aspects of the transformational levers that could be implemented in the Indian and regional settings to enable the health systems towards universal health coverage by strengthening the health systems through the power of technology and innovations.


  1. Key Ecosystem enablers identified
  2. Interventions that would support the development and implementation of the Ecosystem
  3. How can telecommunication networks support – expectations from the key stakeholders

Enabling the Ecosystem for Healthcare Transformation: Role of Communication Technologies

Chair:  Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY

Moderator: Dr. Ivan George, Johns Hopkins University



Rajan Mathews/Grace Mathews


India’s Digital Health Vision : Ministerial Address

Hon’ble Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan (TBC)


Futuristic Mobile Technologies including 5 G and its promise for health care services delivery

Malcom Johnson, Deputy Secretary General, International Telecommunications Union, Geneva


Global Surgery and the Neglected Surgical Patient – the palpable promise of technology

Prof. Adrian Park, Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery, Anne Arundel Health System


Transforming healthcare through technology and enhancing citizen engagement

Ganesh Kathiresan, VP, Digital Healthcare, Reliance Jio

11:05 am

The vision of affordable healthcare in India, using economies of scale:  Opportunities offered by Mobile Health and emerging technologies

Dr Devi Shetty, Chairman, Narayana Health

11:25 am

IT and Telecom infrastructure as the backbone for the first mile connections for health delivery :  GOI vision for health delivery transformation

Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, MeitY

The National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 had articulated a vision for ‘health and wellbeing for all at all ages, Citizen-centricity, quality of care, improved access and health for all are aspirational goals of the national health policy. The National Digital Health Blueprint 2019 outlines the framework to achieve these goals by leveraging the power of the digital technologies.

In the Indian context, a comprehensive and interoperable digital architecture is required as the pivotal pillar in achieving this vision. The National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB), provides an architectural vision towards building this ecosystem, it further articulates specific guidance on its implementation.

Any ecosystem is as efficient as the effectiveness of its individual components, recognising the need for synergistic approaches towards building this ecosystem, this session will bring key stakeholders from across Government, health care delivery establishments, technology and communication networks, the vibrant entrepreneurs and representatives from the end user communities. This session will articulate a road map towards how each of these components will contribute towards building this ecosystem.


  1. Building blocks for the National Digital Health Ecosystem
  2. Opportunities, roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder
  3. What immediate next steps as actionable for the ecosystem stakeholders
  4. Policy provisions and potential partnerships initiated

National Digital Health Blueprint – Building the Ecosystem : Policy and Partnerships

Chair: Dr V K Paul

Moderator : Dr Oommen John, George Institute for Global Health

11:30 am

Overview of Health Systems Transformation in India and role of technology

Dr V K Paul, Member (Health), Niti Aayog (TBC)

11:40 am

WHO Digital Health Guidelines – Implementation experiences from LMICs  

Dr. Alain Labrique, Director, JHU Global mHealth Initiative

Johns Hopkins University

12:00 pm

Achieving Universal Health Coverage : Innovations for Ayushman Bharat/ PM JAY

Dr. Indu Bhusan, CEO, National Health Authority (TBC)

12:10 pm

Emerging Technologies and healthcare transformation – implications for NDHB

Preetam Maloor, International Telecommunications Union, Geneva

12:25 pm

Using Mobile technologies to save lives

Piyush Tewari,  Founder and CEO of Save LIFE Foundation

12:40 pm

Role of the Industry in supporting the Ecosystem and expanding its reach

Gaurav Laroia, Senior Vice President, Biocon

12:55 pm

Innovations for healthcare transformation

Sureshkumar R, CTO CCS India & Digital Incubators at GE-Healthcare


Summary and way forward

Representative, MoHFW

This rapid fire session aims to showcase the implantation experiences from across health workforce strengthening, community based screening, expanding health services delivery, telehealth, role of artificial intelligence, remote patient monitoring, leveraging social media for health campaigns etc.

Each presenter will share their experiences/ or demo their solution in 5-7 minutes. This will be followed by a moderated discussion.


  1. What is working on the ground
  2. What are some of the key challenges in implementation and scale up
  3. What Interventions to support scale up
  4. How can telecommunication networks support – expectations from the key stakeholders

mHealth technology applications scenarios: Implementation experiences use cases

Chair : Dr Balram Bhargava (TBC)

Moderators : Dr Ivan and Dr Monica Thomas


Robotic Surgery Demo

An example of the need for collaborative opportunities that are robust and allow for low cost high fidelity exchange- how it benefits the clinician and the patient.

Dr Adrian Park and Dr Ivan


An example of the need for collaborative opportunities that are robust and allow for low cost high fidelity exchange- how it benefits the clinician and the clinician-in-training.

Dr Adrian Park and Dr Ivan


Demonstrating the capacity in a scenario to aid the population in preop and/or post op visit utilizing Dr. Mathew Varghese in Orthopedics

Dr Adrian Park and Dr Ivan


Leveraging Social Media platforms for health campaigns : Enhancing Blood Donations

Prof. Joy Mammen, Christian Medical College, Vellore


Human – Brain Interaction

Kumar Bagrodia, Neuroleap


Remote support for diagnostic services

Kalyan Sivasailam , 5C Network


Tackling the NCD epidemics leveraging mhealth

Prof. Nikhil Tandon, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi


Utilizing AI in imaging and using backend IT triggers to expedite diagnosis of TB

Dr Shibu Vijayan, Acting Global TB Technical Director, PATH


Creating the next generation digital health tools for Indian Health sector

Surojit Nundy, Founder, RAXA


Perspectives and Application within the Indian Setting

Niteshkumar Dixit, DGM, Life Sciences & Healthcare Business Innovation Group,



Voice based approaches for improving health outcomes

Sriram Singaram, Founder  Swasth


Using Natural Language Processing for Electronic Health Records

Dr Suman Bhattacharya , Founder, SBB Analytics