National Digital Health Mission
What is the National Digital Health Mission?
The Prime Minister of India announced the launch of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) on the occasion of 74th Independence Day. According to the National Health Authority (NHA), every patient who wishes to have their health records available digitally must start by creating a Health ID.
Each Health ID will be linked to a health data consent manager such as National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) which will be used to seek the patient’s consent and allow for a seamless flow of health information from the Personal Health Records module. The Health ID is created by using a person’s basic details and mobile number or Aadhaar number. This will make it unique to the person, who will have the option to link all of their health records to this ID.
Aim of NDHM
The NDHM aims to create a digital ecosystem for healthcare through the creation of personal digital health IDs, unique identifiers for doctors and health facilities, and personal health records. At a later stage, there is also a plan to integrate telemedicine and e-pharmacies into this.
What is a Health ID?
As per the National Health Authority (NHA), every patient who wishes to have their health records available digitally must start by creating a unique Health ID.
The health ID will contain information about medical data, prescriptions and diagnostic reports, and summaries of previous discharge from hospitals for ailments.
Features Of NDHM
Under the National Digital Health Mission, every Indian will get a Health ID card that will store all medical details of the person including prescriptions, treatment, diagnostic reports, and discharge summaries.
• The citizens will be able to give their doctors and health providers one-time access to this data during visits to the hospital for consultation.
• However, access to the confidential medical data will have to be given separately for each visit due to fears over data confidentiality.
• The National Digital Health Mission will allow patients to access health services remotely through teleconsultation and e-pharmacies, as well as offer other health-related benefits.
• The mission will be launched through a pilot launch in UTs including Puducherry, Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra, and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
The NDHM is implemented by the National Health Authority (NHA) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
- The National Health Authority (NHA), is also the implementing agency for Ayushman Bharat.
- The National Health Policy 2017 had envisaged creation of a digital health technology eco-system aiming at developing an integrated health information system that serves the needs of all stakeholders and improves efficiency, transparency, and citizens’ experience with linkage across public and private healthcare.
- A Digital Health ID was proposed to “greatly reduce the risk of preventable medical errors and significantly increase the quality of care”.
- In the context of this, the central government’s think-tank NITI Aayog, in June 2018, floated a consultation of a digital backbone for India’s health system — National Health Stack (NHS).
- NHS was intended to be a digital infrastructure built with the aim of making the health insurance system more transparent and robust while factoring in the uniqueness of India’s health sector, and the political realities of federalism.
- A committee headed by former Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman released the National Digital Health Blueprint in July 2019.
- NDHB recognized the need to establish a specialized organization, called the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), to facilitate the evolution of the National Digital Health Ecosystem.
- On 7th August 2020, National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) released its latest strategic document, outlining the envisioned digital registries of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and insurance companies, digital personal health records, and digital clinical decision systems.
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