5th Commonwealth Digital Health Awards
The Commonwealth Digital Health Awards (CWDHA) was founded by Prof. Vajira H.W. Dissanayake in 2016 as the signature event of the Commonwealth Digital Health Initiative which was the flagship project of his Presidency of the Commonwealth Medical Association from 2016 to 2019. The CWDHA was first held in October 2016 alongside the 24th Triennial Conference of the Commonwealth Medical Association in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The 2nd and 3rd editions of the CWDHA were held in October 2017 and in October 2018 while the 4th edition, which was to be held in Geneva in May 2020, was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and held as a virtual event in November 2020.
The Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health (CWCDH), which was launched during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London in April 2018, took over its management following the first two editions and was able to expand the event to reach a global audience supported by many partners.
The award partners thus far included global technology leaders such as Microsoft® and Google®, leaders in the health domain such as the BMJ® group, and international organizations such as the ITU. The awards also gained support from industry leaders such as Janssen and global networks such as the European Connected Health Alliance.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, CWCDH decided to hold the 4th CWDHA as a virtual event in 2020. Despite it being a virtual event and the world having to deal with a deadly pandemic, the event attracted more than 200 submissions from more than 25 countries under different categories. A panel of 34 judges representing global leaders in digital health, technology and business evaluated the submissions and were able to recognize and unveil to the world many new digital health innovations that could transform the way the health systems function and healthcare is delivered around the globe.
The 5th edition of the CWDHA has also been planned as a virtual event. We believe that the 5th edition would be the most competitive CWDHA ever given the exponential increase in digital health innovations taking place during the last several months. The event will be the opportunity many of these innovators have been waiting for as it will provide the launch pad for these innovations to reach the next level – a disruptive digital health technology for the new normal.