Digital health is an integral part of many projects at the Novartis Foundation. We believe that digital health is a key enabler for the innovation of healthcare, rather than an end in itself. It can enable greater patient reach and empowerment, and improve healthcare quality and delivery in low- and middle-income countries. Successful digital health initiatives operate at scale and are integrated within existing health systems to strengthen their response to the priority needs of the populations they serve. Pioneering digital health initiatives that are integrated and sustainable at scale is central to realizing the full potential of digital health.
Incubator models are central to innovating the way care is delivered for non-communicable diseases such as hypertension. We aim to pioneer models that are sustainable at scale and integrated within the health system. Working with the public, non-profit and ICT sectors in multilateral partnerships, we test these models to ensure that they have the greatest chance of reaching their potential to improve health outcomes for non-communicable diseases.
Multidisciplinary and multisector approaches are needed to address the burden of non-communicable diseases in urban settings in low- and middle-income countries. We build partnerships to deliver scalable and sustainable healthcare models to address not only the burden itself, but the underlying risk factors that are driving it. We aim to have the greatest impact through this approach and focus.
Zero transmission is at the heart of our strategy to make leprosy history. We work with partners to develop and implement strategies that help interrupt leprosy transmission in low- and middle-income countries. In 2016 we saw several of our existing programs expand to new countries and mature in existing ones. Our ambition is that our programs have impact beyond the local communities where they are implemented. By integrating their results and lessons learned into policy, we aim to pioneer and accelerate widespread implementation across the globe.
The impact of our programs is not isolated to the rural and urban areas in which they are implemented. We aim to translate our experiences in innovating healthcare delivery in low- and middle-income countries into evidence-based policy recommendations that can be applied across the globe. In 2016 we launched the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development’s Working Group on Digital Health to translate our programmatic experience into policy recommendations to accelerate the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) agenda.
While it is always with mixed feelings that we bring projects to a close, ultimately it is our duty to ensure that as a project matures, it is able to continue on its own, or is passed on to other partners, who can be from the public or the private sector. In 2016, the Novartis Foundation saw the transition of its Primary Healthcare program in Mali to local partners, ready to make a permanent difference to the communities and populations they serve. Other programs in the Novartis Foundation portfolio continued to mature toward scalability and sustainability.