Technology-Enabled Interventions Could Encourage Women’s Health Empowerment at Scale, According to Accenture Report

Monday 11 February 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Governments can have a direct impact on women’s health outcomes and save countless lives by creating programs that leverage emerging technologies to empower women, according to a new report released by Accenture (NYSE: ACN) in collaboration with the seventh edition of the World Government Summit.

Titled ‘‘The Role of Emerging Technologies in Women's Health and Sustainable Development,” the report states that to drive women’s empowerment, governments in developing countries have an opportunity to harness emerging technologies— such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, blockchain and edge computing—to improve women’s health outcomes and reduce gender inequality, with minimal additional spend.

These emerging technologies could produce women’s health empowerment at scale, even without economic growth. Empowerment improves women’s health outcomes by enabling adequate nutrition, access to health resources, better care of maternal and reproductive health, and access to finances, among other factors.

“While gender inequality in developing countries will fall as their economies grow, technology can enable policymakers to carry out high-impact actions that can greatly reduce the time needed for a country to drive health empowerment and achieve better health outcomes for women,” said Gianmario Pisanu, who leads Accenture Consulting in the Middle East and Turkey. “The action plan to improve women’s health empowerment must involve targeted investments based on analysis of open data, an ecosystem of players and participants to multiply the impact, and empowering workers responsible for the last-mile delivery of health services.”

Smart government intervention could have a significant impact on women’s health since women in developing countries are at much greater risk of dying from entirely preventable or treatable conditions. For example, more than half a million women die every year in pregnancy and childbirth, and more than 50 percent of the adults living with HIV/aids worldwide are women.

The report identifies steps governments can take to make crucial interventions, aided by technology, to foster women’s health empowerment:

  • Promote transparency and data access: Access to good data is crucial to driving change and achieving greater gender equality to ensure sustainable development. Governments can consider making data available to the ecosystem and continuing to refresh and maintain the repository for constant innovation.
  • Make targeted investments: To achieve better health empowerment outcomes, big-budget programs can be broken down into more-targeted investment decisions informed by intelligent data.
  • Take an ecosystem approach: The level of financial resources needed to achieve women’s health empowerment can be met if governments build trusted partnerships with businesses, non-profit organizations, and academia. Technology can act as the glue that binds them together to harness their collective intelligence and work towards ensuring sustainability, scalability and affordability.

Up to now, data availability has often been the focus of digitalization in women’s empowerment programs, according to the report. However, determining causality and addressing gaps require an integrated approach, with an emphasis on data authenticity, interlinkages between various indicators and the measurement of causal relations with broader socio-economic data. Government programs must also harness the power of ecosystems—benefiting from the collective intelligence of large corporations, technology companies, non-profit organizations and startups.

Related News