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May 02 2017

One of the most consequential and important challenges of our time

Twitter: @nokia

Managing the health of our collective society

Anyone who has ever experienced a chronic condition knows that a person’s health is among his or her most precious assets. Yet, increasingly, health conditions – including preventable conditions – are compromising the wellbeing of billions of lives around the world. As a result, managing the health of our collective society – our human family – has become one of the most consequential and important challenges of our time.

Simply put, health care systems in many countries are broken. Costs continue their relentless rise into the stratosphere, while improved outcomes are increasing at a much slower rate, and are unevenly distributed at best.

Fixing these broken systems is a complex and daunting task. And yet, one of the reasons I am passionate about the work we do here at Nokia is that we have a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact on important issues of our day, including health care. As a company focused on human-centric technology, with deep-rooted expertise in sensors, connectivity, and design, we are passionate about helping to transform the connected world in ways that change people’s lives.

Digital health is on the cusp of becoming an essential part of the health care equation: first, through medical-grade and doctor-approved products that inspire individuals to take control of their own health. Then, by using the data generated by these products to inform powerful research, leading to actionable insights that can benefit the human family.

As these solutions scale up, overall wellness and preventive care take center stage. In turn, that means less spending on chronic conditions and the reduction of high-cost emergencies, thanks to preventive care and early intervention.

Some of the benefits of digital health are available now, including a few solutions from Nokia’s portfolio, such as heart rate trackers, connected scales, and blood pressure monitors. All of these, when combined with the impact of what high-performance 5G networks of the future can bring to medical care, offer powerful potential. And more solutions from a range of organizations are coming each and every day. From my perspective, it cannot be soon enough, as no other sector in the world is in more desperate need of lower costs and better outcomes.

Achieving these outcomes, however, requires a collaborative approach among a range of key stakeholders. We must nurture a rich culture of cooperation between technology providers, health organizations, financial institutions, and governments.

To help in this effort, Nokia has joined forces with the United Nation’s Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development to launch a Working Group on Digital Health. As part of this group, we tapped into some of the brightest digital health leaders from 20 countries.

The result? We recently released the report Digital Health: A Call for Government Leadership and Cooperation between ICT and Health. This first-of-its-kind report provides practical guidance on leadership, governance, and intragovernmental cooperation to leaders in health and ICT working to implement national digital health systems and solutions.

There is more work to be done, but making digital health solutions a reality is at the heart of Nokia’s mission … a mission to enable the human possibilities of the connected world, and help the human family be healthier together. Won’t you join us?

Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokia using #digitialhealth #healthcare

About Rajeev Suri

As Nokia CEO, Rajeev has been the driving force behind Nokia’s recent transformation, including its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent; successful expansion into digital health and enterprise vertical markets; building a standalone software business; and the return of the Nokia brand to mobile phones. He is also a United Nations Broadband Commissioner; Vice Chair of the B20 Digitalization Taskforce; and a member of the World Economic Forum’s stewardship board for better health care. Rajeev is an avid fitness enthusiast and music lover and has probably experienced most of the world’s operator networks first hand during his travels.

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