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Nandan Nilekani says Covid-19 a 'WhatsApp moment' for healthcare: Report

Last Updated : 02 September 2020, 06:31 IST

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Infosys co-founder, chairman and the man behind Aadhaar, Nandan Nilkeni, has likened the enrollment for the Covid-19 vaccine, whenever there is one in India, to the 'WhatsApp moment' in healthcare sector.

In an interview with Business Standard, Nilekani emphasised on the use of technology in healthcare, a sector which has emerged crucial amidst the pandemic. "This pandemic is a defining moment for (use of) technology in health," he said.

Nilekani was talking about his new book on technology considering the Covid-19 pandemic. According to him, the book, co-authored by Tanuj Bhojwani, deals with adoption of technology in various sectors following the coronavirus outbreak. The book, he said, is likely to be out early next year.

He highlighted the newly-launched government bodies National Digital Health Mission and National Health Authority. Both the bodies are assigned the task of maintaining a database with information on doctors, hospitals and other entries thus creating individualised entries of people. Nilekani said they hve been enthrusted to create an "electronic health record with a digital health ID."

These proposals of digitalising healthcare resemble Aadhaar enrollment programme, said Nilekani. A vaccination programme in India spanning over a billion people is unprecedented, however, he claimed that in two years the entire population can be vaccinated.

"In the case of Aadhaar, we were able to build and enrol 1 billion in five and a half years. For vaccination, it can be done even faster — in just two years," Nilekani said.

He said the entire process should mirror Aadhaar enrollment - programme based and tech-enabled. "From the point you entered for vaccination till you get your certificate, everything should be digital real-time," he said.

He also talked about an option — to create a health record and a digital ID — being offered to those who show up for the vaccination.

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Published 02 September 2020, 05:35 IST

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