Prime Minister Narendra Modi will roll out the nationwide Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission (PM-DHM), on September 27. The scheme was earlier known as the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM).
Taking to microblogging site Twitter, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya made the announcement and said that the unique digital health ID will be given to people, containing all their health records.
"PM Narendra Modi ji to announce nationwide rollout of Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission on September 27. Under this, a unique digital health ID will be given to the individuals, which will contain all the health records of the person," he wrote on his Twitter handle.
The ID creation will require certain documents like Aadhaar and the person's contact number, Hindustan Times reported.
The initiative will be kick-started on the final day of Arogya Manthan, which was rolled out on Thursday, September 23, to celebrate the third anniversary of the Centre's flagship health insurance scheme — Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
The project has been started on a pilot basis in the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh, Ladakh, Daman and Diu, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry.
The mission significantly comprises of four major building blocks— unique digital health id, health facility registry, health care professionals registry, and electronic health records.
Among these, three components, including unique health id, doctor's registry and the health facility registry have been made operational initially.
The health id is to standardise the process of identification of a person across health care providers aiming to make sure that the created medical records are issued to the correct person or accessed by health information users through proper consent.
In order to issue the id, the system will gather few primary details such as demography and location, family or relationship, and contact details that can be updated from time to time. The id will be used for uniquely identifying individuals, authenticating them and threading their health records across multiple systems and stakeholders. However, the health records will be accessed only with the informed consent of the patient.
The doctors' registry will contain details of all healthcare workers involved in the delivery of healthcare services across modern as well as traditional systems of medicine.
The health facility registry will act as a database of all health facilities across various systems of medicine, which includes both public and private health facilities like hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, diagnostic laboratories and imaging centres etc.
The initiative supports universal health coverage in a well organised, approachable, inclusive, inexpensive and sound manner through provision of a wide range of data, information and infrastructure services.
"The mission has been designed keeping in mind the requirements of future. It will not only benefit patients but also doctors, policy makers and researchers. Since almost everything will be electronically maintained, it will not require paperwork anymore, like the Ayushman Bharat PM-JAYworks," a senior government official told the newspaper.
Role Of National Digital Health Mission
Prime Minister Narendra Modi initially launched the National Digital Health Mission on August 15 last year. The mission was aimed to create an integrated healthcare system that will link medical practitioners with their patients digitally by providing them access to real-time health records. This will help in promoting prompt and structured healthcare across the whole country.
- The implementation of NDHM is expected to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of health service delivery overall. Patients will get access their medical records and share them with health care providers to ensure proper treatment and follow-up.
- Individuals will also have access to more exact information on health facilities and service providers. Further, they can choose to access health services at home through tele-consultation and e-pharmacy.
- NDHM will provide choice to patients to facilitate compliance with laid down guidelines and protocols, and ensure transparency in the service prices and accountability for the health services being given.
- Similarly, health care workers across disciplines will have better access to the patient's medical history for prescribing more appropriate and effective health interventions.
- The integrated ecosystem will also give a better continuum of care. NDHM will help digitise the claims process and enable faster reimbursement.
- At the same time, policy-makers and programme managers will have better access to data, enabling more informed decision making by the government.
- Better quality of macro and micro-level data will enable advanced analytics, usage of health-biomarkers and better preventive healthcare.
- It will also enable geography and demography-based monitoring and appropriate decision-making to make design and strengthen implementation of health programmes and policies.
- Finally, researchers will significantly benefit from the availability of such aggregated information. They will be able to study and evaluate the effectiveness of different programmes and interventions. The programme would facilitate a comprehensive feedback loop between researchers, providers and policy makers.
- By establishing a nationwide integrated digital health ecosystem, the initiative will contribute effectively to meet the goals of National Health Policy 2017 and the health-related SDGs. NDHM will mark a new chapter for the country's digital healthcare ecosystem, which will enable more effective delivery of medical services and moving towards health to all.