What is National Digital Health Mission?

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National Digital Health Mission

The Health Data Management Policy of the National Digital Health Mission has been recently approved by the Government of India. This health initiative, evolving from the National Health Policy, 2017 aims to digitize healthcare in the country. This policy sets out the minimum standard for the protection of data privacy to be followed in order to make sure the compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The policy will serve as a guidance document across the National Digital Health Ecosystem.

About National Digital Health Mission

  • National Health Authority (NHA) is responsible for strategy designing, technological infrastructure building and implementation of “National Digital Health Mission”.
  • The NDHM is a joint initiative of many ministries/departments.
  • In response to the goal of National Health Policy for the adoption of digital technologies, a committee has been formed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, headed by J. Satyanarayana for development of a framework for the National Health Stack.
  • The committee produced the National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB), along with an action plan for holistic implementation of digital health.
  • The National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) was announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day 2020.
  • This health mission works to create a national digital health ecosystem for supporting universal health coverage, associating with other government programmes, such as the Ayushman Bharat Yojana and the Aadhaar identification programme.
  • NDHM includes telemedicine, health ID, healthcare registry, Digi-doctor, and e-Pharmacy.

Also, Read:- Ayushman Sahakar Scheme: All You Need To Know

Vision

As stated by https://www.nhp.gov.in/, the vision of this health mission is to build a national digital health ecosystem to support universal health coverage in an affordable, efficient, inclusive, accessible, timely and safe manner and a seamless online platform through the provision of a wide range of information, data, and infrastructure services, duly leveraging open, interoperable, standards-based digital systems, and ensures the confidentiality, security, and privacy of personal information related to health.

Guiding Principles

  • The Government of India is the one behind the design, development, operation and maintenance of the NDHM while following the
    National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB) guiding principles.
  • NDHM is all set to be rolled out in phases and four primary systems to be launched in the first phase of roll out.
  • At a later stage, the government also has a plan to integrate e-pharmacies and telemedicine into this.

Key Facts

The National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) is implemented by the NHA under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Let’s take a look at what at aims of the mission:

  • The mission aims to establish Digital Health Systems for management of infrastructure requirements and core digital health data.
  • To create health registries to hold all credible data of clinical establishments, healthcare professionals, pharmacies and drugs.
  • To achieve sustainable goals related to health.
  • To create standardized personal health records.
  • To provide health care services easy to access, and portable nationwide.

Four Major Components of NDHM

The four major components of National Digital Health Mission are

  • National Health Analytics Platform
  • National Health Electronic Registries
  • Federal Personal Health Records Framework
  • Other horizontal components such as unique digital health ID, payment gateways, health data dictionaries etc.

What Are These?

Health ID

  • To standardize the process of identification of persons across healthcare providers, Health ID will be used. This ID will uniquely identify individuals, authenticate them, and thread their health records (based on the consent of the patient) across multiple systems and stakeholders, as stated on the official government website.
  • How Health ID is created? This ID is created with basic details and Aadhar number or mobile number. This id will be unique to a person.
  • How to obtain Health ID? Any person can obtain this health ID with the help of healthcare provider listed in the national health infrastructure registry. This ID can also be obtained by self-registration from a web or mobile application.
  • Currently, the Health ID is announced in Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu,
    Chandigarh, Ladakh, and Lakshadweep.

Digi-Doctor

  • Digi-Doctor is a comprehensive repository of all doctors either practicing or teaching traditional/modern systems of medicine.
  • Enrolling on Digi-Doctor is a fully voluntary process for doctors and enables doctors to get connected to digital health ecosystem of India.

Health Facility Registry (HFR)

  • HFR is a comprehensive repository of health facilities of India across different systems of medicine.
  • The Health Facility Registry includes both public and private health facilities including clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, diagnostic laboratories and imaging centers etc.

Personal Health Records (PHR)

  • It is an electronic record of information related to health of an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards which can be drawn from multiple sources while being managed, controlled and shared by the individual.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

  • EMR is a digital version of treatment history of patient from a single facility.
  • The health information recorded in a facility is locally stored at the facility where the patient was registered.
  • The clinical information of patient will be linked to their Health ID.
  • The clinical information of the patient can further be shared with other healthcare facilities based on the informed consent of the patient.

Wrap Up

The implementation of NDHM will significantly improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency of health service delivery overall. NDHM will offer choice to people accessing both public and private health services, facilitate NDHB compliance, and ensure transparency in the service pricing and accountability for the health services being rendered.

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