Digital Identity Powered Health Ecosystems: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Directions

Digital Identity Powered Health Ecosystems: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Directions

Copyright: © 2023 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8966-3.ch004
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The United Nations (UN) and World Bank ID4D initiatives aim to provide everyone on the planet with a legal identity by 2030. They are centered around emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, biometrics, and cryptography, and how they can benefit the underprivileged. However, all stakeholders that can influence the creation of a global digital identity ecosystem will have to collaborate closely in order to be successful. Governments, not-for-profit institutions, lawmakers, policymakers, private sector, and academia should all play a vital role. While the fintech industry has been a leader in driving adoption of digital identity, the healthcare and life sciences industries are widely regarded as equally important, as they have a crucial impact on the global economy and global public health. For long term sustainability, meaningful impact and optimal value creation, we must focus on building global health ecosystems where traditional industry boundaries will become irrelevant, and we transition towards a human-centric personalized medicine model.
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A few recent global reports published have highlighted numerous countries facing a significant digital divide and where we have tremendous opportunities for improvement in order to foster social, financial and digital inclusion. However the journey of narrowing this divide is long and arduous. To reduce the gaps, we must focus on basic needs such as providing access to internet, to computers, to banking or mobile payments and dedicate more global resources to enhance digital literacy and digital fluency.

Currently it is estimated that 1 in 7 people lack a means to prove their identity and this places them at a major disadvantage given that we live in a digital economy and having a digital identity is considered vital for political, economic, health and social opportunities. Therefore, a core foundational element for optimizing financial inclusion is the large scale adoption of digital identities and the creation of digital identity ecosystems. The implications of aiming to provide legal identity for all expand beyond individual rights. In this highly globalized and increasingly virtualized digital era it has become a moral imperative for countries to reliably verify the identities of populations, deliver business services efficiently and reliably grow their digital economies.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Precision Medicine: A new specialty of medicine that takes genetics, environment and behavioral characteristics into consideration when designing optimal treatment pathways

Digital Identity: A digital online equivalent of the corresponding physical or legal identity of an individual, organization or device

Metaverse: A virtual 3D space that is immersive, offering users shared experiences that aim to recreated real world interactions or idealized real-world interactions

Panomics: A field of science that includes knowledge from a variety of sub-disciplines that describe biological systems

Genomics: A field of medicine studying human genes

Self-Sovereignty: The ability to manage and exercise control on our own

Digital Twins: A digital replica of a real world person, object, process or entity and has the capability of generating data analytics simulations

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