Antoine Flahault: “Precision Global Health Means Providing the Right Intervention to the Right Population at the Right Time”

The expert delivered the inaugural conference for the ISGlobal-UB Master of Global Health and the Master in Clinical Research


Last October 14 in the Aula Magna of the Faculty of Medicine, Antoine Flahault, director of the Institute of Global Health of Geneva, delivered the opening lecture for the Master of Global Health and the Master in Clinical Research (International Health track) coordinated by ISGlobal and the University of Barcelona (UB).

During his conference, the expert discussed global health nowadays and how it can use modern technology to mobilize and guide the optimal use of resources. Global health, he explained, is transdisciplinary because it goes beyond academic disciplines: it integrates all actors including governments, civil society and pharmaceutical industry. And it should offer innovative, integrated and sustainable solutions.

In order to provide the best intervention to the right population at the right time, it has to make use of the interconnectivity of digital data; for example, by adding molecular markers in registries or including different sources of data. By doing so, preventable deaths could become a target for precision global health. He reminded the audience that in low income countries, there is still a 40% of mortality among those below 15 years of age, as compared to only 1% in rich countries. 

To conclude, he presented some technological examples that can improve the efficiency of the response to public health emergencies, such as open data sharing for food-borne pathogens, google search terms and other social networks for early warnings of disease, massive open online courses (MOOC) for health care workers, or the IHR 3.0 simulator to strengthen response capacities at the national level.