Digital tools health systems can adopt – at scale

By Chris Purdy, Deputy Director, Digital Health Solutions, PSI Global

Digitally connected consumers want quality health information on-demand, accessible across the digital channels they already use. As we look beyond the pandemic, how can we support health systems to integrate digital health solutions to provide quality, Consumer Powered care at scale?

Population Services International (PSI) invests in user-friendly digital tools that support health systems to deliver sustainable, accessible and affordable healthcare to consumers. We work closely with local partners to scale digital solutions like social media campaigns, artificial intelligence (AI)-driven self-screening tools, and digitally enabled location services that connect consumers to the care they need.

Here’s how.

1. Social Media

Health-focused social media campaigns are a cost-effective way to reach large audiences with quality assured messages that impact health education, attitudes, and behaviors. In partnership with Meta, PSI delivered social media health promotion campaigns via Facebook and Instagram in 26 countries on topics ranging from COVID-19 vaccination to uptake of contraception. Leveraging human-centered design and local consumer insights, these interventions cumulatively reached over 160 million people in 2022.

 In partnership with Yale University, UNICEF, Africa CDC, and Ad Council, PSI is supporting the development of an online course to build global capacity for digital health promotion campaigns and share best practices. The course launches at the end of 2022 with an intended audience of governments, public health implementers, academic institutions, and digital agency partners. Alongside the course, PSI and Capulet Communications will develop and launch a digital global community of practice platform to accelerate ongoing peer collaboration and best-practice sharing among digital media for health implementers.

2. Artificial Intelligence

AI technology makes quality healthcare more accessible and affordable for consumers. For example, in Vietnam, visiting in-person clinics can be time consuming and it is difficult for many consumers to take time from work for their health visits. Health consumers need a low-cost, easily accessible option to receive their healthcare. In partnership with Babylon Health, PSI launched a free digital self-care product to offer consumers access to AI-powered diagnosis through Babylon’s symptom checker and access to nearby health facilities, outlets and pharmacies through PSI’s Location Services tool. This digital health tool is accessible to 9.4 million consumers in Vietnam, and we are exploring opportunities to scale up AI-powered self-care tools in other countries.

3. Location Services

Consumers seeking newer health products such as COVID-19 vaccines or self-inject contraception may have challenges knowing which pharmacies and health facilities carry them. PSI has deployed its Location Services tool in 14 countries to digitally signpost consumers to vaccines, contraception, and primary healthcare services near them, covering over 14,000 health facilities. Moving forward, in collaboration with the Kenya Ministry of Health, PSI will extend its Location Services tool to digitally map and connect consumers with health facilities that offer COVID-19 vaccines. In 2023, PSI will seek partnerships to develop an open-source version of the tool for any government or public health organization to use.

Looking Ahead

Throughout all of PSI’s digital consumer powered health initiatives, we work to strengthen health systems by support public health practitioners to adopt digital technology and apply best practices for using these tools.

By investing in scalable, effective digital tools that can be used by any consumer and implemented by any global public health practitioner, we can advance sustainable and effective health solutions at scale – and support consumers everywhere to take the power of health choice into their hands.

Will you join the work? Email [email protected]

There’s more. Explore where PSI will be at the Global Digital Health Forum 2022.

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