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Narendra Modi launches Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission to revolutionise India’s healthcare system

·4 min read

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission through video conferencing on Monday.

The pilot project of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission was announced by the prime minister from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15 August last year.

Currently, the programme is being implemented on a pilot basis in six Union Territories €" Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.

Ahead of the launch Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said, "On 15th August 2020, PM Modi had announced the mission (Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission) from the ramparts of the Red Fort. I am happy that he is launching it today. I believe that this will bring a revolutionary change in the health sector."

According to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), the nationwide rollout of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission coincides with the National Health Authority (NHA) celebrating the third anniversary of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY).

"This kind of digital communication will render cost effective services through access to large pool of clinicians and will help generate relevant data for health policy makers not only in modern medicine, preventive medicine, traditional system of medicines and Yoga for more inclusive healthcare system through interventions like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)," Dr RS Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare told News18.

What is Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

  1. The PMO said Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission 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 security, confidentiality and privacy of health-related personal information.

  2. The Mission will enable access and exchange of longitudinal health records of citizens with their consent.

  3. The scheme consists of four essential blocks €" unique digital health ID, healthcare professionals registry, health facility registry and electronic health records.

  4. "The health ID €" unique 14-digit health identification €" for 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.

  5. The ID will be created by using a person's basic details including demographic and location, family/relationship and mobile number or Aadhaar number.

  6. A Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR) and Healthcare Facilities Registries (HFR) will act as a repository of all healthcare providers across both modern and traditional systems of medicine. This will ensure ease of doing business for doctors/hospitals and healthcare service providers.

  7. This health account or Electronic medical record (EMR) will contain details of every test, every disease, the doctors visited, the medicines taken and the diagnosis. This information will be very useful as it is portable and easily accessible even if the patient shifts to a new place and visits a new doctor.

  8. Health ID under NDHM is free of cost, voluntary.

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission Sandbox

It has been created as a part of the Mission to act as a framework for technology and product testing that will help organisations, including private players, intending to be a part of the national digital health ecosystem become a Health Information Provider or Health Information User or efficiently link with building blocks of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission," it added.

What is a sandbox

A sandbox (in cybersecurity) is an isolated testing environment that enables users to run programmes or open files without affecting the application, system or platform on which they run. Software developers use sandboxes to test new programming code. Without sandboxing, software or applications could have potentially unlimited access to all the user data and system resources on a network. Sandboxes are used to safely execute malicious code to avoid harming the host device, the network or other connected devices. Using a sandbox to detect malware offers an additional layer of protection against security threats.

Advantages

  1. The Centre believes that the Mission will create interoperability within the digital health ecosystem, similar to the role played by the Unified Payments Interface in revolutionizing payments.

  2. Citizens will only be a click away from accessing healthcare facilities

  3. The platform will help in undertaking analysis of health data and lead to better planning, budgeting and implementation for health programmes.

  4. It will help create an integrated digital health infrastructure in the country

Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will provide digital support to the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, which was launched by the Central government to provide health coverage of Rs 5 lakh to poor families annually for secondary and tertiary care.

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