Coronavirus: Digital healthcare to take center stage at Riyadh Health Summit

Health workers prepare to perform nose swab tests during a drive through coronavirus test campaign held in Diriyah hospital in the Saudi capital Riyadh amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo: AFP)

Saudi Arabia will bring global leaders in healthcare systems, public health, digital health, academic institutions and businesses on August 11-12 to discuss the role of digital health technology in fighting the coronavirus and future pandemics.

The Riyadh Global Digital Health Summit (RGDHS) comes as the world continues to fight the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which has left over 700,000 dead and nearly 20 million infected. Many countries continue to maintain lockdown measures and travel bans in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated appreciation for technological solutions, so healthcare professionals must now seize this opportunity to build on previous strides forward in digital health and advocate for accelerated digitalization as a core part of countries’ recovery plans,” Dr. Bandar Alknawy, CEO, Ministry of National Guard Health Affairs, and President of the RGHS said in a statement late last month.

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“RGDHS is far more than a healthcare conference; it is a global digital platform bringing together people who have the ability to work collaboratively to accelerate our response to the COVID-19 pandemic, paving the way for a united effort to manage the crisis and build capacity and resilience for the future,” Alknawy concluded.

The Ministry of National Guard’s Health Affairs Department and G20 Saudi Secretariat are organizing the two-day virtual summit in collaboration with the Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships. The summit follows an Extraordinary Summit of the G20 earlier this year in March, during which members of the 20 most powerful countries in the world all expressed their commitment to fighting the coronavirus pandemic as a united front.

Saudi Arabia has been directly contributing to the fight around the world. In June, the UK expressed its gratitude to Saudi Arabia for the donation of thousands of pieces of medical equipment to the country’s National Health Service. The Kingdom has also donated $150 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GIVA), and $500 million to help international efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

In April, the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared a message of values and international solidarity, highlighting the work of more than six thousand Saudi doctors in 41 countries “standing by” fellow humans in the fight against the novel coronavirus.

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud on the launch of the vaccine donation added that the Kingdom has provided over $86 billion in aid throughout the past three decades to over 81 countries to help them improve their livelihood and healthcare.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 11 August 2020 KSA 14:19 - GMT 11:19
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