PM Modi launches digital health mission


    It is being touted as a transformational move that has the potential to take healthcare delivery in India into a new phase of portable patient health records. Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a video conference on Monday, September 27th launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, which has an important component of digital health ID card for all citizens.

    It is not as if you could walk into a hospital tomorrow and expect patient health records to be made available digitally and made portable but it apparently is a first step in that direction and much depends on how the various stakeholders from the healthcare providing hospitals to individuals register with this and work towards making it a reality. There is no clear deadline to make all of this a reality but Financial Express Online learns from official sources that significant first steps are being put in place with the nationwide launch of the initiative.

    – Core registries get created – the health ID for citizens;

    – healthcare professional registry for doctors, nurses and others and to be expanded to accommodate more healthcare workers;

    – the health facility registry and for all systems of medicine.

    – It is all a federated network and the Ayushman Bharat Digital Health Mission will not store the health records and the data will recide either on the patient’s mobile or at the point of origin – the hospital concerned.

    – Providing the link between the individual and the healthcare provider is what is being facilitated.

    – Currently, for the creation of all the three registries, minimal data is being sought. For instance, for the health ID, there are some basic factoids needed such as name, address, year of birth, gender, mobile number.

    – Anybody (citizens, doctors and hospitals) can today technically log into the digital health mission website and register with some basic details and the hospitals can integrate their health records with the current system.

    – The hospitals could register with some meta data and overtime in a graded fashion transition to fully digitised data.

    – What healthcare providers like hospitals need to know is: who will integrate the various platforms between hospitals? How will patient data confidentiality in this process be ensured and finally, will the government make it mandatory for hospitals to register?

    The aim apparently is to help identify each entity and individual uniquely across the eco-system. This will also ensure that genuine and verified doctors and healthcare professionals are on board. Official sources do see it as a graded journey.

    Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya, welcoming the gathering called the move transformational after a pilot run for one year across six union territories and as a move towards inclusive healthcare with a digital ecosystem and where digital consultations will also become easier based on the availability of patient data that could be accessed digitally.

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