Broadband Commission

The Novartis Foundation co-chairs the commission’s Working Group on Digital and AI in Health, which provides recommendations for how countries can realize mature integration of AI in health systems.



Since 2016, the Novartis Foundation has co-chaired the Broadband Commission Working Group on Digital and AI in Health. The Working Group convenes the world’s top experts to develop recommendations for how policymakers and other stakeholders can develop sustainable digital and AI health strategies and solutions that address national health priorities, while managing associated risks. 

The Working Group’s 2020 report, “Reimagining Global Health through Artificial Intelligence: The Roadmap to AI Maturity”, presents a landscape analysis that shows five use cases for how AI is successfully transforming health today. It then builds on the landscape analysis to propose a six-step roadmap for how countries can reach mature integration of AI in their own health systems. 

Why is AI in health so important? 

Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing healthcare – promising to transform health systems from being reactive to proactive, predictive, and even preventive. But it is not only a technology of the future. AI is already enabling population health interventions, assisting with drug discovery and design, integrating into clinical workflows, interacting directly with patients via chatbots, and optimizing health operations. 

Yet there are risks associated with the use of AI in health, particularly for vulnerable populations, youth, and children. And while low- and middle-income countries may have the most to gain from AI’s potential to transform health systems, they may also have the most to lose if their governments do not invest now. Because to bring AI capabilities to the next level for health systems and patients, countries need to be proactive and foster a robust enabling environment for needs-driven AI. 

The 2020 report builds on two previous publications: 

The Working Group’s 2017 report, Digital Health: A Call for Government Leadership and Cooperation between ICT and Health, created a blueprint for how ICT and health leaders and policymakers can collaborate to develop national digital health strategies. 

The Working Group’s 2018 report, The Promise of Digital Health, builds on the earlier work. It provides practical recommendations and best practice examples of how policymakers can implement sustainable digital health solutions that address NCDs in low- and middle-income countries, therefore accelerating Universal Health Coverage and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3.

Additional resources