Who are emerging voices in global health? We asked the experts

13 February 2018
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We continue our series on the future of global health. What new opportunities exist for collaboration to meet the growing need for healthcare for people around the world? What breakthrough innovations can we expect to see this year? Whose voices will shape the global health agenda within our current economic and political climate?

We tapped our network of clients and health experts to find out. Here is what they said.

Note: Responses have been lightly edited for length or clarity.

Click here for part 1 in our series, exploring emerging threats that may pose challenges to meeting global health commitments in 2018.

What will be the greatest breakthrough in global health in 2018?

  1. Technology and data innovations

“In the US, unconventional players and partnerships in health could disrupt the business model of health. This has ripple effects globally. If Amazon provides cheaper and quicker access to medicines, the learnings could apply in resource-limited settings.” —Senior Executive, Pharmaceutical Industry

“Diagnostics technologies we don’t even know about yet” – Global NGO executive

“User-led diagnostics,” i.e. “near patient testing.” – Global NGO executive

Many opportunities exist to use data more creatively, piggybacking off existing technology and mobile usage, including the potential for a data-driven network of healthcare workers. Important to note is the necessity of integrating technology into a well-functioning health system, without which technology cannot be deployed efficiently.

  1. Increased private sector investment and the emergence of unconventional partnerships

“Private sector investment in developing country systems will be one of the greatest breakthroughs in global health in 2018.” — Global public health academic

“The private sector’s role will be more and more important” — WHO adviser

The pipeline of product development partnerships [i.e. Medicines for Malaria Venture, DNDi]” —Senior Executive, Pharmaceutical Industry

The U.S. government and international organizations such as the World Bank are looking for more ways to work with the private sector amid shrinking international aid budgets.  As funding becomes scarce and the global health landscape continues to increase in complexity, space will be created for the private sector to leverage its expertise and resources to fill gaps in the need for healthcare innovations and cross-sector partnerships.

Which people or organizations are emerging voices in global health?

We received a wealth of responses that speak to the diversity of groups and individuals that are beginning to influence the direction of global health priorities. Rising stars in the global health community include:

Coalitions and partnerships:

  • Access Accelerated
  • The global health security establishment
  • Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
  • Coalition for Access to NCD Medicines and Products (PATH)
  • Women’s health groups


Government groups:

  • Regional and national public health institutions (i.e. Africa and China Centers for Disease Control)


Private donors:

  • Michael Bloomberg / Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Wellcome Trust

And more generally, the global private sector. Click here to see examples on how the private sector is advancing global health.


Which people or organizations will remain key influencers in global health?

There was wide consensus from responders that traditional government organizations and global funders will continue to drive the global health agenda.

International development organizations

  • The United Nations
  • Dr. Tedros, Director-General of the World Health Organization / WHO
  • The World Bank

Government groups:

  • The U.S. Government

Private donors:

  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Coalitions and partnerships:

  • GAVI
  • The Global Fund


We want to know what you think! Who else would you add to the list of emerging voices in global health? What breakthroughs to you believe will radically alter the field of global public health in 2018? Please drop us a line at info@rabinmartin.com and be sure to put “Global Health Trends” in the subject line.

Want more? Click here for part 1 in our series, exploring emerging threats that may pose challenges to meeting global health commitments in 2018.

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