Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

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    • The National Health Authority (NHA) will be the implementing agency. 
    • The pilot of the ABDM was completed in the six Union Territories of Ladakh, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep with successful demonstration of technology platform developed by the NHA. 

    Image Courtesy: PIB 

    Significance

    • The Central government promoted digital health solutions across the healthcare ecosystem which has proven to be of immense benefit over the years:
      • Importance of technology: 
        • In COVID backdrop, CoWIN, Arogya Setu and e-Sanjeevani demonstrated the role technology can play in enabling access to healthcare. 
      • Linked records:
        • Citizens will be able to create their ABHA (Ayushman Bharat Health Account) numbers, to which their digital health records can be linked. 
        • This will enable creation of longitudinal health records for individuals across various healthcare providers, and improve clinical decision making by healthcare providers. 
      • Secure:
        • It is creating a seamless online platform through the provision of a wide-range of data, information and infrastructure services, duly leveraging open, interoperable, standards-based digital systems while ensuring the security, confidentiality and privacy of health-related personal information
      • Better decision making:
        • It will facilitate evidence-based decision making for effective public health interventions, 
      • Employment generation:
        • It will catalyse innovation and generate employment across the healthcare ecosystem.

    Challenges

    • Integration: There is a need to integrate such solutions for continuum of care and effective utilisation of resources.
    • Digital Divide: This could lead to exclusion of digitally illiterate and unconnected remote, hilly and tribal areas. 
    • Data Breach/Privacy issues: The lack of a data protection bill could lead to the misuse of data by private firms.
    • Huge requirement of skilled labours: Need for skilled manpower in the digital domain that are well versed with latest computer skills.
    • Inadequate Primary Health Care data: Lack of infrastructure and staff at primary level.
    • Issue of interoperability of systems built by different states & the central repositories.

    Conclusion 

    • The mission is expected to improve equitable access to quality healthcare by encouraging use of technologies such as telemedicine and enabling national portability of health services. 

    Sources: TH