The news headlines report daily on the global political impacts of digital technology: the secondary use of social media data has been implicated in election meddling, though the complex issues surrounding data governance, data ownership and the ethics of personalised advertising remain to be addressed. Meanwhile, digital automation drives unemployment and income inequality, even as the global digital divide exacerbates discrepancies in access. The WHO’s ‘Global strategy on Digital Health’ outlines a vision of ‘Global Digital Health’ (GDH), calling for partnerships, networks, public goods and a research agenda for engineering the ‘GDH ecosystem’. As policymakers consider the political implications of the digital age with suspicion and caution, what are the repercussions for realising GDH?

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