Global health leader Dr. Rakesh Kumar heralds a new beginning as CEO WISH


The Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Health (WISH), a leading force in India’s healthcare innovation landscape, is proud to announce the establishment of the Wadhwani- Institute for Digital Health (W-IDH) in India, a groundbreaking initiative designed to transform the nation’s digital health infrastructure. The institute aims to achieve several key objectives:

  • Develop an opensource evidence-based repository of digital health tools and platforms, categorized as Digital Public Goods for Health.
  • Establish a collaborative network with key players in India and to identify innovation, opportunities and potential financial avenues to help build the National Digital Health Ecosystem.
  • Implement customization and scale-up of advanced digital health solutions, while also developing ‘Digital Innovation Labs’. These labs will facilitate the localization, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Digital Health Technologies across Institute Government, States, Private Sector and Academia.
  • Build Digital Health capacities with combination of Healthcare, Technology and Management skills needed for sustainable digital health implementation and scale-up.
  • Use AI and data management for solving real-world problems.

“The creation of W-IDH represents a landmark moment in India’s digital health journey. Our mission is to utilize this institute to expedite the adoption of high-quality universal health coverage through technology, thus optimizing cost efficiencies and improving patient outcomes,” Dr. Kumar said on launch day.

Through the Wadhwani- Institute for Digital Health(W-IDH), WISH aims to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The institute will act as a hub for technology and innovation, strengthening the worldwide digital health ecosystem.

WISH is an Indian non-profit working with a mission to provide high quality primary healthcare to all by developing and scaling innovative models. It supports over 1000 digital health and wellness centers in various cities and states in India (urban and rural models) in partnership with Government, having served over 30M patients. WISH established an Innovation Unit at the National Health Authority of India (NHA) to improve mainstreaming of 15+ digital health innovations such as Point of Care Devices, smart clinics, and e-health modules by facilitating piloting and testing solutions in clinics, creating institutional linkages, and data intelligence, and further, working through Technical Support Units that aid in scaling effective technologies and solutions.

As the new CEO, Dr. Kumar will play a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s mission of leveraging technology to deliver comprehensive quality healthcare to communities in need.

Dr. Rakesh Kumar, CEO, WISH, (formerly IAS, 1992) is a global health leader from India with formal training in Medicine, Ophthalmology, Global Health, Public Administration & Management. Dr. Kumar has more than 30 years of experience in designing policies, implementing, and monitoring large-scale development programs, leading state and national level policy, implementation and research portfolios in Government and UN/International agencies since 1992. Dr. Kumar’s appointment comes at a vital time as WISH embarks on a new era of growth and transformation. With a focus on leveraging technology and advancing healthcare solutions, the foundation is poised to make a substantial impact on the quality of healthcare ecosystem.

With a distinguished career spanning over three decades, working in the policy and program implementation with the Govt of India, State Govts, UN agencies, Dr. Rakesh Kumar brings a wealth of experience and expertise to WISH. He has a proven background in driving strategic growth, enhancing operational efficiency, and improving patient outcomes.

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