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During his speech on the eve of India’s 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. The blueprint of the flagship scheme was laid last year and the scheme is likely to be at par with the Ayushman Bharat scheme.
PM Modi informed that a unique ID will be issued to citizens under a ‘One Nation One Health Card’ scheme. Individuals can use it to gain access to the system. For this purpose, a digital database will be created that will contain an individual’s medical history such as tests, diagnosis, and treatment. The information can be accessed from anywhere in India only by doctors and other authorised individuals.
National Digital Health Mission promises hassle-free medical treatment
Following the implementation of the scheme, individuals do not need to carry their medical records around, even if they need to travel to other parts of the country for treatment. Hospitals will also benefit from the scheme, apart from cardholders. The scheme will also be extended to medical stores and pharmacies in the future. There will also be an optional service to link hospitals, clinics, and doctors to a central server.
NDHM to be an optional service
As per reports, the scheme will be implemented in several phases and the patient data will be kept safe and secured. While the health card will bear a unique ID just like Aadhar, it will, however, be an optional service available to the public. The card will be in the form of a website or mobile app. The National Digital Health Mission will improve the transparency, effectiveness, and efficiency of the health service. Dr. Harshvardhan, Union Health Minister, stated that the Centre revolutionised the health sector through the introduction of schemes such as Ayushman Bharat, NISHAY, Reproductive Child Healthcare, etc.
NDHM to employ AI and machine learning
Speaking to Times Now, Dr. Harshit Jain said that NDHM will be a step towards digitisation in the Indian healthcare system. He stated that Electronic Health Records (EHR) can help transform the sector through the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques. He added that such techniques can help in predicting seasonal outbreaks and learning about disease patterns. Jain emphasised that the scheme will help bridge the divide between rural and urban India.