The 16th International Conference on Urban Health took place in November 2019 in Xiamen, China, the city where Scottish parasitologist Sir Patrick Manson first discovered vector borne infections. For four days attendees gathered to network and discuss the year’s theme, “People Oriented Urbanization: Transforming Cities for Health and Well-Being”, in relation to relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.

This is a transcript of ACCESS Health Chair and President William A. Haseltine sharing insight on the thematic priority of “Emerging Diseases, Healthcare, [and] Public Services.” In it, Dr. Haseltine reflects on some of the conference’s key takeaways in the context of healthcare system reform. He emphasizes the importance of distributed models of care and information technology to improving urban health and shifting focus from treatment to prevention.