Social Innovation to Achieve Global Health

Social Innovation to Achieve Global Health

Marta Cristiane Alves Pereira (University of São Paulo, Brazil), Perla Calil Pongeluppe Wadhy Rebehy (University of São Paulo, Brazil), Fabiana Faleiros (University of São Paulo, Brazil) and Maria Cristiane Barbosa Galvao (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6307-5.ch022
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The use of information and communication technologies for health (eHealth) has great potential to provide global impact. It increases the involvement of healthcare consumers and improves knowledge dissemination to and from the health workforce. Additionally, it may contribute to incorporating evidence-based results to promote more efficient, safer, and more accessible healthcare, improving outcomes while reducing costs. Considering this background, the present chapter emphasizes contemporary initiatives such as D.Efficiency and Ask Dr. Giggles, which are focused on global health initiatives that employ communication and information technologies and social innovation, in addition to prioritizing the wellbeing of individuals in society. Therefore, it is hoped that this chapter provides further understanding of the phenomenon of social innovation in health, which has the potential to be used by large numbers of people, enhance equity in access to qualified information, and provide opportunities to address other social determinants of health.
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Global health is more than just a definition of objectives. It is a combination of scholarship, research, and practice, an opportunity to create a healthy environment so that all humans can realize their potential with dignity and equality (Koplan et al., 2009; United Nations [UN], 2015).

First, the approach puts people at the centre of health care across the entire planet. Second, global health refers to problems, not their locations. It includes the biggest health threats, which disregard national borders, having multiple determinants, and require complex solutions (Koplan et al., 2009; Beaglehole & Bonita, 2010).

From this perspective, it is indispensable to recognize both the overlap and distinctions among global health, international health, and public health (Table 1), in order to propose global strategies to solve health problems, as agreed by a multidisciplinary and international panel (Koplan et al., 2009).

Table 1.
Comparison of global, international, and public health
Global HealthInternational HealthPublic Health
Geographical reachFocuses on issues that directly or indirectly affect health but that can transcend national boundariesFocuses on health issues of countries other than one’s own, especially those of low-income and middle-incomeFocuses on issues that affect the health of the population of a particular community or country
Level of cooperationDevelopment and implementation of solutions often requires global cooperationDevelopment and implementation of solutions usually requires binational cooperationDevelopment and implementation of solutions does not usually require global cooperation
Individuals or populationsEmbraces both prevention in populations and clinical care of individualsEmbraces both prevention in populations and clinical care of individualsMainly focused on prevention programmes for populations
Access to healthHealth equity among nations and for all people is a major objectiveSeeks to help people of other nationsHealth equity within a nation or community is a major objective
Range of disciplinesHighly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary within and beyond health sciencesEmbraces a few disciplines but does not emphasise multidisciplinarityEncourages multidisciplinary approaches, particularly within health sciences and with social sciences

Source: (Koplan et al., 2009)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Disability: The international classification of functioning (ICF) adopted as the conceptual framework for this chapter on disability, understands functioning and disability as a dynamic interaction between health conditions and contextual factors, both personal and environmental.

Social Network: A network of social interactions and personal relationships. A dedicated website or other application that enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc.

Global Health: Area of study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health for all people worldwide, with dignity and equity, emphasizing interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaboration.

Digital Social Innovation: Development and diffusion of novel collaborative solutions to social needs and problems using digital technologies to maximize benefits.

Health Literacy: The degree to which an individual has the capacity to obtain, communicate, process, and understand basic health information and services to make appropriate health decisions.

Social Innovation: Development and implementation of effective solutions to social and environmental issues that are challenging and often systemic in support of social progress.

Social Technology: A process of innovation conducted collectively and participatory, by actors interested in building that desirable scenario.

Plain Language: Communication your audience can understand the first time they read or hear it.

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