Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, also known as the Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission (PM-DHM) or the National Digital Health Mission, via video conference.
“Today is a very important day. The drive to strengthen the health facilities of the country, in the last 7 years, is entering a new phase today. This is not an ordinary phase. This is an extraordinary phase,” PM Modi said at the launch.
The Prime Minister had announced the PM-DHM in his Independence Day speech last year. Currently, the project is being implemented on a pilot basis in six Union territories.
The project will act as a “one-stop solution” for all healthcare needs of the common man. It aims to develop the necessary backbone to support an integrated digital health infrastructure in the country, an official involved with the project said.
Speaking at the launch of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. https://t.co/OjfHVbQdT7— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 27, 2021
"This Mission leverages technology to improve access to healthcare and opens doors for new innovation in the sector," PM Modi tweeted a day before the launch.
What is digital health mission?
The mission aims to create an integrated platform to improve the healthcare infrastructure of the country. Under the mission, healthcare providers and healthcare facilities will be registered on the platform. The digital platform will collate and allow exchange of healthcare information with various healthcare providers.
"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 the security, confidentiality and privacy of health-related personal information. The mission will enable access and exchange of longitudinal health records of citizens with their consent," read an official statement.
How will the health ID work?
A key feature of the mission is a 14-digit unique identification for citizens to be created for consenting citizens using information from their Aadhaar or basic details and mobile number.
The ID would also work as an individual's health account. This account will be a repository of all healthcare-related information of the individual containing details of every test, disease, doctors visited, diagnosis and medicines prescribed, etc.
With the consent of the individual, these information can then be shared with healthcare providers even when the primary care provider changes for the individual or when the person moves to new locations.
It comprises both public and private health facilities including hospitals, clinics, diagnostic laboratories, and imaging centers, pharmacies.
Creation of the health ID will be free of cost and nearly 10 lakh health IDs have already been created for residents of Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep.
Registry for healthcare providers and healthcare facilities
Apart from the health ID, the mission will also set up a registry for all healthcare providers and healthcare facilities available in the country.
Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted that all three make up the key components of the national health mission.
“This will ensure ease of doing business by citizens and healthcare service providers. Now health is just a click away!” Mandaviya added.
The registry will count providers of both traditional and modern medicines.
The nationwide launch of the mission coincided with the third anniversary of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY).