Indu Bhushan stresses that NDHM’s goal is to provide a digital ecosystem to improve quality and access of healthcare delivery by empowering a patient through digital means
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) during his Independence Day address to the nation. Dr Indu Bhushan, Chief Executive Officer, Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB - PMJAY), National Health Authority (NHA), shares details about this flagship initiative.
Mehul Dani: What is the role of NDHM? What will be its scope and ambit?
Dr Indu Bhushan: NDHM aims to develop a digital health ecosystem in India and enable the creation of a secure public digital infrastructure for the healthcare sector. It intends to empower healthcare providers and health facilities through digital registries and facilitate electronic signatures to make paperless registrations and payments. It will provide opportunities to deploy systems to streamline healthcare information. It aims to connect the entire health ecosystem of India through a reliable and secure digital backbone.
NDHM will implement key digital building blocks detailed in the National Digital Health Blueprint and make them accessible as digital public goods to the public as well as the private sector. The building blocks will be available as a collection of cloud-based services. Together these will create a robust framework to enable better healthcare delivery and management for the country.
By when it will be operational? How will it be made functional?
Currently, NDHM is being piloted in 6 union territories - Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Ladakh, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu. The rollout is focused on 3 building blocks - creation/ issuance of Health ID for individuals, enrolling doctors on Digidoctor and registering public and private sector health facilities, labs, clinics in the Health Facility Registry. We are also launching Personal Health Records (PHR) app at the individual level and Electronic Medical Records (EMR) webapp to ensure interoperability in the system. The building blocks currently being deployed in the 6 UTs will be rolled out nationwide after learning from the experience of the pilot.
Who will be the major constituents, stakeholders of NDHM?
NDHM will support the entire health system. The key stakeholders are our citizens. By design, NDHM is citizen centric. Its building blocks are designed to ensure that an individual’s privacy is maintained. The other stakeholders are healthcare professionals, public health researchers, healthcare facilities (private & public), labs and clinics. Different types of licensing and certification authorities are poised to play a key role in the ecosystem. Insurance companies, audit firms and health technology provider companies will be crucial along with other stakeholders to enable the development of a vibrant and self-sustaining ecosystem.
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