Parallel Session 2.2

Smart Health Financing – Seizing Digital Opportunities

1 February 2020

10:30 - 12:30 hrs.

Background :

The rapid digitization of financial flows and transactions in many health systems – between payers and providers, but also direct system contributions and payments from people – creates unprecedented opportunities for step-changes in financing policy and performance. For example, the digitization of financial flows generates real-time data about provider and patient behavior, opening up possibilities to improve the purchasing of health services.  Similarly, the rapid growth in the use of mobile phone systems can facilitate direct contributions to contributory health schemes.


Challenges and open questions are also manifold. Poor change management, lack of interoperability and data compatibility in fragmented data architectures, and weak regulation all-too often impede reaping the benefits of the digital transformation. The transformation also carries significant risks, most importantly, threats to data privacy.  Policy-makers and practitioners must master new competencies to tackle these challenges and seize the digital opportunities for smart health financing.


Objectives :

This session aims to highlight opportunities, challenges and open questions in harnessing the potential of digitization for smart health financing and accelerated progress toward UHC.  Drawing on country experiences, discussions will illustrate what opportunities new technologies offer and identify the prerequisites governments need to meet – and challenges they have to overcome – to take advantage of these technologies.


The session will focus on the following topics:

  1. What is the scope for digitizing health financing flows and transactions and what are the potential benefits?  How does digitization of transactions, often facilitated by mobile-technologies, drive changes to purchasing and resource mobilization? Drawing on the vast amount of data that it generates, how does it transform policy-making?  How can artificial intelligence help reap these and other benefits of digitization?
  2. How do countries tackle the challenges in seizing these opportunities?  How do they ensure inter-operability, data privacy and regulation more broadly?  What are the competencies that policy-makers and practitioners must master and how can organizations manage the transformation of processes, functions and cultures?


Short Paper: