Digital Healthcare ID for everyone

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NEW DELHI: “Today we are launching a mission that has the potential of bringing a revolutionary change in India’s health facilities,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while launching the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission via videoconferencing on Monday.
The Mission will provide a digital Health ID to people, which will contain their health records. The nationwide rollout of the digital Health ID coincides with the National Health Authority (NHA) celebrating the third anniversary of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY).
Currently, over one lakh unique Health IDs have been created under the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM).
The pilot project of NDHM was announced by the prime minister from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15, 2020. The pilot was launched across six states and Union territories.
The campaign of strengthening health facilities that had been going on for the last seven years was entering a new phase today, Modi said while launching the mission.
The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission would now connect the digital health solutions of hospitals across the country with each other.
A release issued by the Central Government stressed that the mission would not only make the processes of hospitals simplified but also increase ease of living. Under this, every citizen would now get a digital health ID and health records digitally protected.
Key Points to Understand
The key component of NDHM is a Health ID – a unique 14-digit health identification number – for every citizen that will also work as their health account. The national Health ID will be a repository of all health-related information of a person. The health ID will enable access and exchange of longitudinal health records of citizens with their consent.
This health account will contain details of every test, every disease, the doctors visited, the medicines taken, and the diagnosis. This information will be very useful as it is portable and easily accessible even if the patient shifts to new place and visits a new doctor.
The Health ID is created by using a person’s basic details and mobile number or Aadhaar number. Personal health records can be linked and viewed with the help of a mobile application, a Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR), and Healthcare Facilities Registries (HFR).
The Health ID under NDHM is free of cost and voluntary. According to the govt, analysis of health data will lead to better planning, budgeting and implementation for states and health programs, which should be a big cost optimizer.
Once the NDHM gets rolling, citizens will only be a click away from accessing healthcare facilities.
The mission will create electronic medical records (EMR) for each individual, according to the NDHM’s website, which will allow doctors to track data over time, easily identify which patients are due for preventive screenings or checkups, check how their patients are doing on certain parameters (such as blood pressure readings) and monitor and improve overall quality of care within the practice.
The project was first launched in pilot phase in the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.
“This kind of digital communication will render cost effective services through access to large pool of clinicians and will help generate relevant data for health policy makers not only in modern medicine, preventive medicine, traditional system of medicines and Yoga for more inclusive healthcare system through interventions like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML),” Dr. RS Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had said earlier.