Health Data Management (HDM) Policy


    In News

    • The National Health Authority (NHA) has revised the draft Health Data Management (HDM) policy with the objective to protect individuals’ personal data.

    About the new policy

    • Federated architecture
      • The NDHE is based on the principle of federated architecture, which allows interoperability between independent and decentralised information systems, while enhancing the security and privacy of personal data of individuals.
    • Applicability
      • The provisions of this Policy shall be applicable to all the entities and individuals who are part of the Ayushman Bharat ecosystem.
    • Objectives
      • The key objective of HDM policy is to provide adequate guidance and to set out a framework for the secure processing of personal and sensitive personal data of individuals who are a part of the NDHE in compliance with all applicable laws.
    • Data privacy
      • HDM policy also aims to increase awareness of the importance of data privacy and instil a privacy-oriented mindset among the members of ABDM and its ecosystem partners.
      • To ensure portability in the provision of health services.

    ABDM (earlier called the National Digital Health Mission)

    • It is the Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
    • It aims to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country.
    • ABDM seeks to bridge the gap among multiple stakeholders that are a part of the healthcare ecosystem.
    • It was launched in 2020 as a pilot in six Union Territories: Andaman & Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Ladakh, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
    • Four components of the Mission are:
      • Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts (ABHA)
      • Health Professional Registry (HPR)
      • Health Facility Registry (HFR)
      • ABHA App (PHR).


    The National Health Authority (NHA)

    • The NHA is the apex body responsible for implementing India’s flagship public health insurance scheme called Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
    • It has been assigned with the role of designing strategy, building technological infrastructure and implementation of National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) to create a National Digital Health Ecosystem.
    • The NHA is the successor of the National Health Agency, which has been functioning as a registered society since 2018.

    Significance of the policy

    • Setting standards for data privacy protection: It acts as a guidance document across the National Digital Health Ecosystem and sets out the minimum standard for data privacy protection.
      • It should be followed across the board in order to ensure compliance with relevant and applicable laws, rules and regulations.
    • To safeguard digital personal data within the ambit of the NDHE: including the Personal Health Identifier, the electronic health records and electronic medical records, by implementing adequate technical and organisational measures across the NDHE.
    • To create a system of digital health records: This is easily accessible to individuals and healthcare service providers and is voluntary in nature, based on the consent of individuals, and in compliance with relevant standards.
    • This will also work to leverage the information systems existing in the Indian health sector by encouraging conformity with the defined data privacy standards and integrating such existing systems with NDHE.

    Source: LM