Leveraging technology, health ministry set to launch National Digital Health Mission
Union health ministry is set to launch the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), aimed at making better use of technology in healthcare delivery across the countryUpdated: Nov 11, 2019, 13:26 IST
After National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) meant to strengthen healthcare delivery systems in rural and urban areas, the Union health ministry is set to launch the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), aimed at making better use of technology in healthcare delivery across the country.
The NDHM is a part of the larger structure called the National Digital Health Blueprint that among other things proposes a unique health id on the lines of Aadhaar that will make health history of a person available at the click of a mouse.
The final draft is up for public comments for 30 days after which it will be notified.
“The National Health Policy (NHP) 2017 lays significant emphasis on leveraging digital technologies for enhancing the efficiency effectiveness of all healthcare delivery services, and the digital blueprint is a step toward making it happen. The modifications have been made over the previous draft based on the comments we received, and the final version is up in public domain,” said a senior health ministry official, requesting anonymity.
The main objectives include: establishing and managing the core digital health data; developing multiple digital health systems spanning across sectors from wellness to disease management; creating a system of electronic health records, based on international standards that are easily accessible to the citizens and service providers based on citizen consent; establishing data ownership pathways so that the patient is the owner their records; Promoting health data analytics and medical research among other things.
“While maintaining a health record database is integral to the initiative what is more important is to ensure privacy, security and confidentiality of the data that has been generated in the process. Also, it will help merge everything as right now people are working in silos that would change,” said the official.
A committee was constituted under J Satyanarayana, chairman, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), to create a framework and implementation plan that submitted its report to the health ministry in April this year.
Niti Aayog released a proposal in July, 2018, for the National Health Stack to provide the foundational components that will be required in information technology driven health programmes in India.
“Eventually it all boils down to quality of healthcare. Efforts will be focused on ensuring that the quality of care is not compromised at any level. It is an ambitious initiative, and we are hopeful that it will work out well,” the official added.