Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission has huge potential: PM

PM launches Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, says it can bring revolutionary changes

Modi said the mission marks a new phase in efforts of the last seven years to strengthen health facilities

PM Narendra Modi. Credit: PTI File Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced pan India rollout of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission to create a massive healthcare database that can be accessed by a unique digital identification to retrieve a person’s past medical records while seeking new health advices.

The success of such a database, however, would depend on the involvement of private sector as 60-70 per cent of the healthcare services in India are provided by private hospitals, diagnostics centres and doctors running their private clinics.

The database, according to the Prime Minister, will contain an individual’s medical history and diagnostic reports, doing away with the need to keep a physical file and carry it to hospitals or physicians all the time. The database will also contain information on doctors and diagnostic centres.

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"Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will help connect digital health solutions across the country. All Indians will get a digital health ID under this scheme. Every citizen's health record will now be digitally secure," the Prime Minister said, underlining that "digitisation will make healthcare easier".

In the line of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) that transformed the online payment experience, the new mission envisages a Universal Health Interface (UHI) - unified by decentralised network based on a standard protocol for all types of health services - without monopolistic platforms.

Such an interface (UHI) can subsequently be used for services like (1) discover hospitals and primary care (2) discover labs (3) discover a pharmacy (4) discover a medicine across pharmacy (5) book a physical appointment with a doctor (6) tele consultation and e-prescription (7) book an ambulance (8) book an appointment for home collection of pathology samples (9) check availability of medicine (10) order medicine (11) check facilities at a hospital and (12) check availability of critical care beds as well as facilities in a hospital.

The Health ID of every citizen will also "work as their health account, to which personal health records can be linked and viewed with the help of a mobile application," says the government.

Also Read | Ayushman Bharat has transformed healthcare system in country: Mandaviya

"We have 130 crore Aadhar number, 118 crore mobile subscribers, nearly 80 crore internet users and around 43 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts. Such a huge interconnected (digital) infrastructure is not available anywhere in the world,” Modi said on the national rollout of the scheme which has been tried successfully in a pilot mode in six Union Territories – Chandigarh; Ladakh; Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu; Puducherry, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.

Initially, the mission would connect the hospital’s digital health solutions using a common platform. It would lead to creation of a unique digital ID using which the patient or doctor can access the past medical records from the archives of another hospital in another city.

"With this inclusive, efficient and affordable digital ecosystem, one can access quality healthcare anytime, anywhere," tweeted RS Sharma, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Agency that will implement the scheme.

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