Currently, over one lakh unique Health IDs have been created under the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), which was initially launched across six states and Union territories on a pilot basis on August 15, 2021.
“One of the biggest challenges for effective healthcare delivery in India has been the lack of access to a patient’s medical records in times of emergency. In critical illnesses and accident scenarios, a lot of lives are lost due to the gap between a person getting diagnostic tests done and the treating doctors receiving the reports in person,” said Runam Mehta, Chief Growth Officer, HealthCube.
“With digitization of health records, this lack of access almost in real-time will be possible and the doctors will be able to make better informed decision,” added Runam.
Benefits of the health scheme
More than 20 million citizens have so far availed the facility of free treatment under the Ayushman Bharat scheme, half of whom are women, according to the government. The Ayushman Bharat scheme was launched by the prime minister on September 23, 2018.
So far, 23,000 hospitals have been empaneled under the scheme, 40 per cent of which are from the private sector. It was in the middle of the pandemic that the government had launched the national digital health mission.
The unique digital health ID is part of this program which seeks to give control over their health data and digital personal health records.
Pradhar Mantri Digital Health Mission (PM-DHM) will create 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.
This mission will create interoperability within the digital health ecosystem, similar to the role played by the Unified Payments Interface in revolutionizing payments.
Startup hails Indian Government’s move
“The pan-India launch of the Digital Health ID initiative under the National Digital Health Mission is a well-timed and potentially transformational step. The easy digital access to healthcare records is going to be of great value for out-of-hospital care services such as remote monitoring or at home healthcare,” said Vaibhav Tewari, Co-Founder and CEO, Portea Medical
This will further prove to be of great advantage in the treatment of contagions like COVID-19 where contactless digital sharing of records is better than carrying them in a physical format.
In the current scenario, patients need to compile and carry their medical records, reports and prescriptions every time they visit a doctor. Quite often when you switch from one hospital to another, there is a need to undergo testing in the absence of the reports. This kind of outdated, time-consuming and paper heavy system is now set to be replaced by the NDHM wherein the patient only needs to carry a health ID and every medical detail will be saved on the same.
“Digital Health ID will enable seamless collaboration and information between various stakeholders such as the caregivers, pharmacies, diagnostic labs, government authorities and medical research and education entities. Digital Health Records are already standardized in processes like telemedicine, e-pharmacy and other areas. Now, there will be a consolidation and seamless integration of all components under the Digital Health ID,” said Nilesh Aggarwal, Founder, Medtalks.in and CEO, IJCP Group.