The United Nations is sponsoring a series of events focused on promoting global digital health goals.

The Third Digital Health Symposium of UNGA 78 will be taking place on September 26-27 at several locations in New York. Global health leaders will gather to discuss various healthcare opportunities and challenges. Included will be presentations regarding how to move towards achieving greater health access for underserved populations.

Fordham University will host one of kick-off events on the first day of the symposium, The Digital Health Innovation Divide, This event features a unique role-play simulation that looks at what happens when promising digital health technologies are faced with competing public policy and private-sector objectives. Panelists will be presented with complex ethical and health issues involving a hypothetical at-home patient monitoring device. The proposed digital health invention could revolutionize early cancer-prevention and treatment. While the innovation could lead to faster, better, and cheaper global health outcomes, competing stakeholder interests could create obstacles to global adoption and delivery. Each of the panelists will present their perspectives based on their real-life experiences in the global health ecosystem. The Convenor is James Hastings, IP Counsel, Rothwell Figg. The moderator is Chinmayi Sharma, Associate Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law

Panelists to date include:

  • Carl Baranowski, J.D., Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, University of Texas at Tyler
  • Jenny Colgate, J.D., Partner, Rothwell Figg
  • Hannah Cooper, CEO & Co-founder, Cooper/Smith
  • Janet Freilich, J.D., Professor, Fordham University School of Law
  • Michael Harvey, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • Alejandro Lopez Osornio, M.D., Senior Implementation Support Specialist, SNOMED International and Senior Consultant in Digital Health, CIIPS
  • Falguni Sen, Ph.D., Director, Global Healthcare Innovation Management Center, Fordham University
  • Darshana Zaveri, Founder and Managing Partner, Catalyst Health Ventures

Depending on the panelist’s role who will be participating, some of the following challenges will be presented:

  • Proprietary IP – can the innovation be protected and monetized?
  • Health equity and access –how do digital health devices promote the goals of greater global health access and equity? 
  • AI/machine learning-  What are the machine learning implications of the invention?
  • Privacy: What are the privacy rights and implications for patients using the device?
  • Open innovation – what does the open source community, including government and public policy actors, say about the need to keep everything open source? 
  • Health Systems – will administrators (and Chief Business Officers) be resistant to change due to disruptions in operations or missing out on high-margin surgeries and/or other profitable service-lines ?
  • Private equity/investors – what role does private equity play in all this?  What are their concerns?  Where are the opportunities?

The Digital Health Innovation Divide will be available for viewing via tele-event link.