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Digital technologies for health financing:

<p>Digital innovation for health care and illness prevention with its potential to transform health-service delivery has received strong public attention over the past decade in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries. However, the use of digital technologies and their role in enhancing health financing, and their implications for health systems transformation, are less well known, especially in LMICs.&nbsp;</p><p>This paper is particularly focused on digital technologies that significantly change &ldquo;business as usual&rdquo; &ndash; i.e. technologies that substantially transform the way in which health-financing tasks are undertaken by stewards, purchasers, providers, users and citizens in general. These technologies include mobile telephone applications, webpage interaction platforms, blockchain, big data analytics, and artificial intelligence including machine learning.&nbsp;</p><p>A key premise of this paper is that digital technologies for health financing should contribute to universal health coverage (UHC). To achieve progress towards UHC, digital technologies should support the achievement of widely agreed health-financing principles and desirable attributes &ndash; i.e. largely relying on public finance, reducing out-of-pocket expenditure and expanding prepaid and pooled funding, and making purchasing more strategic. Nevertheless, digital technologies may pose risks to health financing and the application and implementation of digital technologies face various challenges that could jeopardize their health-financing benefits. These specific risks for health financing need to be explored.</p><p>This paper outlines potential benefits and seeks to anticipate and explore possible risks and challenges on the basis of a scoping literature review, including published and grey literature, with a focus on LMICs. It provides initial conclusions and reflections on how to reap the benefits, and mitigate the risks and challenges, in relation to health financing.</p> Read More

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