Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission on the third anniversary of Ayushmann Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana that will provide Health ID to people that will contain their health records. The idea for a health ID goes back to 2018 when the PM said in a Niti Aayog proposal, he wanted a centralized mechanism to identify every user in National Health Stack.
Over one lakh unique Health IDs have been created under the National Digital health Mission that was initially launched across six states and Union territories. On a pilot basis on August 15th. The mission aims to create interoperability within the digital ecosystem.
What is the national health ID system?
The national health ID will be a bank for all health-related information of a person. If a participating user wishes to have their health records available digitally, they can start by creating a Health ID. Health data managers will overhead the health IDs where another user like a hospital or a practitioner will seek permission that in turn will be directed to the patients for seamless flow of information.
The Health D will have the person’s basic details and mobile number or Aadhaar number. The user will have the option to link their health records like details of every test, every disease, medicines prescribed, any surgery they had to undergo and physicians they consulted, to this ID. The ID ill come with a unique 14-digit identification number.
Personal health records can be linked and viewed with the help of a mobile application, a Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR), and Healthcare Facilities Registries (HFR).
What was the original plan with health IDs
The roots of the National Health Id lie in the National Health Policy 2017 where the government proposed a digital health technology eco-system that serves the needs of all stakeholders and brings transparency, efficiency with linkage of health information across public and private healthcare. National Health Stack by the Niti Aayog was floated keeping the mentioned plans in mind.
Niti Aayog also proposed a Digital Health ID to increase quality of care by reducing the risk of preventable medical error and for users to get an overall view of healthcare records. The Central government later took the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Electronics and IT and National Health Authority on board to come up with a structure for the idea who unitedly brought the “Making India a Digital Health Nation Enabling Digital Healthcare for all” last month.
Systems that the National Health ID will interact with
The new ID with health records of users will be accessed by various healthcare providers — such as laboratories, online pharmacies, insurance companies and telemedicine firms who will be participating in the ID system. The health ID is kept optional as in case a person who doesn’t has one can also avail treatment for government and private facilities.
Other countries with centralised health record system
In 2005, the UK started deployment of an electronic health record system where all patients will have centralised electronic health recording for five years. This was not a national healthcare information exchange, hence some hospitals subscribed to the system to acquire information about their patients.
The program, considered one of the most expensive healthcare IT failures in the UK was dismantled after incurring a cost of £12 billion. Reports by The independent said that the system faced challenges from suppliers apart from technical drawbacks leaving it way over cost and years behind schedule.
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