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Health Secretary meets Google's Chief Health Officer on sidelines of WHO Assembly at Geneva

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, MAY 29, 2024: APURVA Chandra, Union Health Secretary who is leading the India delegation, met with Dr Karen DeSalvo, Chief Health Officer, Google at a side-event of the 77th World Health Assembly of WHO in Geneva. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ongoing engagement between Google Research and the Union Health Ministry in making digital health tools more accessible to people.

At the outset, the Union Health Secretary appreciated the ongoing engagement between the two organizations. He expressed the need for exploring possible collaboration in areas such as Artificial Intelligence and sought Google's support to the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), building more digital health tools like Automated Retinal Disease Assessment (ARDA) and make them ABDM enabled, and in spreading awareness about ABDM among the student community as well as startup community.

The google team highlighted the existing engagement of Google Research with India's National Health Authority (NHA). Google Research has been engaged with NHA since 2022, when Google's AI model for diabetic retinopathy screening (ARDA) was listed on ABDM's website under the Open Call for Expression of Interest (EoI) for creating digital health ecosystem for India. Google Research and NHA have also been working on development of an open-sourced ABDM wrapper to simplify ABDM sandbox integration process.

Hekali Zhimomi, Addl. Secretary, Union Health Ministry; Aradhana Patnaik, Addl. Secretary and Managing Director (NHM), Union Health Ministry; Dr. Basant Garg, Addl. CEO, National Health Authority were also present on the occasion.


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