Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission

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    In Context 

    • The Prime Minister of India will announce the nationwide roll-out of the Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission on September 27.
    • The mission is being rolled out on a pilot basis in six union territories including Puducherry, Chandigarh, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

    National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) 

    • The Prime Minister during his Independence Day speech 2020 announced that “a new campaign” would be called the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM). 
      • Every Indian will get a Health ID card and this card will contain all the health records of the person.
    • It aims to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country.
    • The primary aim of this mission is to enhance the efficiency of the healthcare system in India. 
    • It will be a one-stop solution for the healthcare needs of the common man. 
    • The difficulty of maintaining long trails of paper-based health records, or standing in long queues at health facilities, etc. will no longer be a burden in this digitally-driven ecosystem.

    Implementing Agency

    • National Health Authority (NHA) has been entrusted with the role of designing strategy, building technological infrastructure and implementation of National Digital Health Mission.
    • It will ensure coordination with MoHFW and the States/UTs.
    • It will strengthen the capacity building of various stakeholders for health informatics.

    (Image Courtesy: ndhm.gov.in/ )

     

    Vision

    • To create a national digital health ecosystem that supports universal health coverage in an efficient, accessible, inclusive, affordable, timely and safe manner.

     

     

     

    (Image Courtesy: ndhm.gov.in/ )

    Objectives

    • To establish state-of-the-art digital health systems, to manage the core digital health data, and the infrastructure required for its seamless exchange;
    • To create a system of personal health records, based on international standards, easily accessible to individuals and healthcare professionals and services providers, based on individual’s informed consent;
    • To ensure national portability in the provision of health services;
    • To promote better management of the health sector leveraging health data analytics and medical research;
    • To provide for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of governance at all levels;

    Components 

    • Health ID

      • It is important to standardize the process of identification of an individual across healthcare providers. 
      • The Health ID will be used for the purposes of uniquely identifying persons, authenticating them, and threading their health records (only with the informed consent of the patient) across multiple systems and stakeholders.
    • Electronic Medical Records (EMR)
      • Electronic medical record (EMR) web app An EMR is best understood as a digital version of a patient’s chart. 
      • It contains the patient’s medical and treatment history from a SINGLE health facility. The general approach is to create a web application that operates on a set of standards like the data construct, interoperability standards and standard medical terminologies. The EMR envisages being the comprehensive view of the patient’s Health Information at a given facility
    • Health Facility Registry (HFR)
      • It is a comprehensive repository of health facilities of the nation across different systems of medicine. It includes both public and private health facilities including hospitals, clinics, diagnostic laboratories and imaging centers, pharmacies, etc. Enrolling in the Health Facility Registry will enable them to get connected to India’s digital health ecosystem.

     

    • Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR)
      • It is a comprehensive repository of all healthcare professionals involved in delivery of healthcare services across both modern and traditional systems of medicine. Enrolling in the Healthcare Professionals Registry will enable them to get connected to India’s digital health ecosystem.
    • NDHM Health Records(PHR)
      • A PHR is an electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be drawn from multiple sources while being managed, shared, and controlled by the individual. 
      • The functions that are supported by a Personal Health Record-System (PHR) will enable an individual to manage information about his or her healthcare. This includes viewing of a longitudinal record, comprising of all health data, lab reports, treatment details, discharge summaries across one or multiple health facilities.

    Opportunities

    • The current strong public digital infrastructure- including that related to Aadhaar, Unified Payments Interface and wide reach of the Internet and mobile phones (JAM trinity), provides a strong platform for establishing the building blocks of NDHM.
    • The experience of Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) can be leveraged to expand the reach of digital health to all residents and develop an open and interoperable health management system that empowers residents, healthcare providers, the Government and researchers.
    • Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things (IoT), Blockchain and cloud computing provide additional opportunities for facilitating a more holistic digital health ecosystem that can increase equitable access to health services, improve health outcomes and reduce costs.

    Benefits

    • Efficiency & Accountability: The implementation of NDHM is expected to significantly improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of health service delivery overall. It will empower individuals with accurate information to enable informed decision making and increase the accountability of healthcare providers.
    • Choices for People: NDHM will provide choices to individuals to access both public and private health services, facilitate compliance with laid down guidelines and protocols.
    • Ease the services: The integrated ecosystem will also enable a better continuum of care. NDHM will help digitize the claims process and enable faster reimbursement. This will enhance the overall ease of providing services amongst the health care providers.
    • Help for Government: At the same time, policymakers and programme managers will have better access to data, enabling more informed decision making by the Government. It will lead to appropriate decision making and strengthen the implementation of health programmes and policies.
    • Better R&D: Researchers will greatly benefit from the availability of such aggregated information as they will be able to study and evaluate the effectiveness of various programmes and interventions. 
    • Integration of all: NDHM is a holistic, voluntary healthcare programme that will integrate doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, insurance companies and make a digital health infrastructure.

    Conclusion

    • The health card system will be very useful for many patients. There was an urgent need for reforms in the health care system and NDHM is a welcome move. This indeed will revolutionise the health care system in India and will bring cheers to the poor and disadvantaged.
    • The health insurance schemes, e-Sanjeevani, Jan Aushadhi implemented by the government are helping the beneficiaries with assured health service and NDHM will bridge the existing gap amongst different stakeholders of the Healthcare ecosystem through digital highways.
    • NDHM has raised hopes of accessible medical services for all citizens of the country. As Covid 19 pandemic has put hospitals and health officials under heavy stress with millions testing positive, the new National digital health mission could usher in a new revolution in the Health Sector.

    Source:TH