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Health in the Digital Age - A New Era for Global Health?

MMS ONLINE Symposium, 4 November 2020

Medicus Mundi Switzerland

Digitalisation affects us all. New technologies, including telemedicine, web-based diagnosis tools, digital data collection and artificial intelligence (AI), are having various impacts on health and health systems and will bring lasting change to the global health landscape.

Health in the Digital Age - A New Era for Global Health?

Community Health Worker using an mhealth app in Malawi. Photo © Christoph Pimmer


The speed and scale of these changes are increasing – which means it is also necessary to assess and adjust the agility, responsiveness and scope of global health cooperation and governance mechanisms. Given the changing circumstances, we must develop new ways to cooperate, collaborate and reach a consensus. The successful exploitation of opportunities introduced by digitalisation is being shadowed by reports of human rights abuses, injustices and unintended consequences.

The unreflecting implementation of digital health technologies has the potential to deepen power imbalances and inequalities in health, especially within countries and between low and high-income countries. Discussing issues connected to big data, data ownership, data hosting, privacy and other ethical questions is of crucial importance to ensure that digital technologies are of maximum benefit to the health of everyone.

This year, the MMS Symposium will focus on:

  • Understanding: how digitalisation is influencing health, health systems and global health.
  • Learning: how digital health strategies can be implemented in a sensitive and responsible way to avoid exacerbating already existing inequities.
  • Debate and Exchange: the importance of bringing different stakeholders together when implementing and planning digital health projects and programmes.


MMS Symposium 2020 goes online...

Registration: Here


ONLINE Programme (PDF)

 8.45am Virtual Waiting Room


Welcome Speech, by René Staeheli, FAIRMED, President of the Network Medicus Mundi Switzerland 

Part 1: Health in a Digital Age – Is Universal Health Coverage within reach? 



“Welcome Message” by Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis Federal Department of Foreign Affairs



Health in a Digital Age - Risks & Opportunities Towards 2030 by Stefan Germann (Fondation Botnar)




BAR TALK: Reimagining Global Health through Artificial Intelligence: The Roadmap to AI Maturity by Lucy Setian (Novartis Foundation) and Carine Weiss, (MMS)


 Q&A with Stefan Germann (Fondation Botnar) and Lucy Setian (Novartis Foundation)


Virtual Coffee Break

Part 2: Health in a Digital Age – Leaving No One Behind



From Web 2.0 to Intelligent Assistants: The Power of Digital Conversations in Global Health by Christoph Pimmer, (FHNW)


Reaching Young People and Breaking Stigma through Youth-led Digital Health Content by Neira Budiono, (Young Experts: #Tech4Health) 




Q&A with Christoph Pimmer (FHNW) and Neira Budiono (Young Experts: #Tech4Health)

Lunch Break


How to Design and Use Ethical Technologies for Health by Cansu Canca, AI Ethics Lab




Panel Discussion: Innovation as a Challenge to Regulation. What are the Political Requirements so that Digital Technologies can Truly Contribute to  Health For All? With Tatjana von Steiger, (SDC), Ilona Kickbusch (Global Health Centre, IHEID, Geneva), Stefan Germann (Fondation Botnar) and Lucy Setian (Novartis)

14.10 Closing Remarks

Moderated by Carine Weiss & Martin Leschhorn Strebel, MMS

The symposium is part of a long-term cooperation with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). 




Date and Time of the MMS Symposium

4 November 2020; 9:00 am – 2:30 pm

Venue: ONLINE!



Further Information

Carine Weiss, Netzwork Medicus Mundi Switzerland
Phone: +41 (0)61 383 18 12


The online event is free of charge.

Registration: Here