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New global initiative will connect the world for better health through digital technology

September 28, 2017 by PATH

Digital Square, led by PATH, will align multi-sector investments into scalable solutions that strengthen national digital health systems

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Digital Square is a collaborative approach to helping countries strengthen their national digital health systems by coordinating investments into scalable digital technologies. Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki.

Washington, DC, September 28, 2017—Global Innovation Week, an annual gathering of the international development community, kicked off today with a series of institutional commitments to support innovation. This evening at USAID, Dr. David Fleming, PATH's vice president for Public Health, delivered PATH's pledge to advance a new type of funding model that maximizes the impact of every dollar spent on digital technology in the global health sector.

"For over a decade, PATH's Digital Health program has been a leader in the application and use of scalable digital products and services globally and at the country level. We build on that legacy by pledging to encourage co-investment among partners and donors to support countries in seamlessly connecting their digital health systems, sharing better data, and reaching better health outcomes," said Dr. Fleming.

As a part of this commitment, PATH is pleased to announce Digital Square. The new initiative, comprised of 40+ partner organizations, encourages more efficient investment in digital health technology solutions in low- and middle-income countries through an innovative co-investment model. "Co-investment is a simple but powerful concept. Development dollars are scarce; by coordinating them, we can maximize the impact of our financial investments," said Dykki Settle, Director of Digital Health at PATH.

The initiative offers a platform for individuals and organizations to confidently coordinate their funding and technical expertise into a suite of proven, adaptable digital health technologies. These solutions can be scaled across an entire country, and even between countries. "This alignment of donors and partners to fund proven technology solutions – that we know can scale – is what sets us apart," said Digital Square Director Lesley-Anne Long.

Digital Square also helps to support countries to develop the skills they need at all levels—from national government leaders to local healthcare workers—to bring these technologies to scale. Digital Square is a USAID program designed and funded in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Connect with Digital Square by email at digitalsquare@path.org or follow us on Twitter at @DigitalSQR.