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Transforming Care and Outcomes with Digital Health Through and Beyond the Pandemic

While developments in technology offer great promise for care delivery, without appropriate governance — within health care organizations, regulatory agencies, and governments, locally and globally — the impact on public health and clinical outcomes will not be fully realized.


The Covid-19 pandemic has magnified fault lines in local, national, and global health systems, while simultaneously reinforcing the importance of fostering health system resilience. Nowhere has this been more obvious than with digital health solutions, which, for decades, have been much slower than promised in enabling excellence. The pandemic has greatly accelerated use of digital health in areas such as public health surveillance and virtual care in many countries, highlighting some of the many ways in which digital health can strengthen and enhance health care planning and delivery, as well as enable safer, higher-quality care. The stress test of the pandemic has also brought into focus gaps and challenges, including important health IT and governance barriers. Drawing on real-world international examples, the authors explore existing solutions that have been used in islands of excellence and can now scale widely; they also examine emerging opportunities to accelerate the transition to data-enabled health care systems that respond to everyday care needs and those of future pandemics. The article focuses on public health and clinical solutions, rather than those that support the research enterprise, logistics, or solutions not specific to health care. Proactive and pervasive use of effective digital health solutions is key to progress on the path to safer, higher-quality care for all, but progress also will depend on addressing persistent barriers to transformative change and alignment with overall health and care strategies.

Transforming Care and Outcomes with Digital Health Through and Beyond the Pandemic | Catalyst non-issue content (

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