UPSC MAINS 2019 : National Digital Health

National Digital Health

Topic : National Digital Health

Topic in Syllabus: General Studies Paper 2: Indian Governance

 

Context:

National Digital Health

To strengthen Digital India and accelerate the efforts towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the Union health ministry has released the National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB) report.

Highlights:

  • Ayushman Bharat Yojana is operational on a robust IT Platform.
  • Other IT-enabled schemes like Reproductive Child Healthcare, NIKSHAY, etc. are also benefitting the patients.

Vision:

To create a National Digital Health Eco-system that supports Universal Health Coverage.

 

Objectives:

The Objectives of NDHB are aligned to the Vision of NHP2017 and the SDG’s relating to the health sector. These include:

(i) Establishing and managing the core digital health data and the infrastructure required for its seamless exchange;

(ii) Promoting the adoption of open standards by all the actors in the National Digital Health Eco-system, for developing several digital health systems that span across the sector from wellness to disease management;

(iii) Creating a system of Personal Health Records, based on international standards, and easily accessible to the citizens and to the service providers, based on citizen-consent;

(iv) Following the best principles of cooperative federalism while working with the States and Union Territories for the realization of the Vision;

(v) Promoting Health Data Analytics and Medical Research;

(vi) Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of Governance at all levels;

(vii) Ensuring Quality of Healthcare.

(viii) Leveraging Information Systems already existing in the health sector.

 

Recommendations:

  • A new entity, National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), is recommended to be established as a purely government organizationwith complete functional autonomy on the lines of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and Goods and Services Network GSTN.
  • The Objectives of NDHB are aligned to the Vision of National Health Policy 2017 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to the health sector. These include:
    • Establishing and managing the core digital health data and the infrastructurerequired for its seamless exchange.
    • Promoting the adoption of open standards by all the actors in the National Digital Health Ecosystem (NDHE), for developing several digital health systems that span across the sector from wellness to disease management.
    • Creating a system of Personal Health Records, based on international standards, and easily accessible to the citizens and to the service providers, based on citizen-consent.
    • Following the best principles of cooperative federalismwhile working with the States and Union Territories for the realization of the Vision.
    • Promoting Health Data Analyticsand Medical Research.
    • Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of Governanceat all levels.
    • Ensuring Qualityof Healthcare.
    • Leveraging the Information Systems already existingin the health sector
  • While the Blueprint has identified 23 Building Blocks, a few of the critical capabilitiesof NDHE are:
    • Identification:The Blueprint handles the requirements of Unique identification of Persons, Facilities, Diseases and Devices through 2 Building Blocks, namely, Personal Health Identifier (PHI), and Health Master Directories & Registries.
      • This can be achieved through a combination of Aadhaar-based Identification/ Authentication and through other specified types of identifiers.
    • Citizen to be in Control:The Blueprint achieves the complex and mandatory requirements of maintaining the confidentiality, security, and privacy of health records through Consent Manager, Anonymizer and Privacy Operations Centre.
    • Service Access/ Delivery: Access and delivery to be implemented by a combination of Web (India Health Portal), Mobile (My Health App) and Call Centres besides Social Media Platforms.
      • The Command, Control and Communication Centre enable real-time monitoring and real-time interventions needed in the NDHE.
      • Given the significant spread of smartphones and the prospects of its further growth, The Blueprint emphasizes the ‘Mobile First’ principle for the majority of stakeholder-facing services.
    • Interoperability:The Health Information Exchange and the National Health Informatics Standards enable and promote the interoperability of various building blocks.
  • It can be noted that recently, as part of the high-level summit, the Delhi Declaration on digital health for sustainable development was adopted at the concluding session of the ‘4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit’.

 

Global Digital Health Partnership Summit:

  • The‘4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit’ was held in February, 2019 in New Delhi
  • It was hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO)and the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP).

 

Global Digital Health Partnership

  • The Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP)is an international collaboration of governments, government agencies and multinational organisations dedicated to improving the health and well-being of their citizens through the best use of evidence-based digital technologies.
  • It wasestablished in February 2018, to provide an opportunity for transformational engagement between its participants.
  • Australiawas the host country for the inaugural summit in 2018.

 

World Health Organisation

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO)is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The WHO’s constitution came into force on April 7, 1948 – a date now celebrated every year as World Health Day.
  • The World Health Assemblyis the supreme decision-making body in WHO. The assembly meets annually and is attended by delegations from 194 member states.

 

Conclusion:

Create an ecosystem which can integrate the existing health information systems and show a clear path for upcoming programmes for ensuring interoperability of Electronic Health Record (EHR).

 

Sample Question:

National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB) report’s recommendations are important for the telecommunications sector and for Digital India. Examine.(250 words)

 


 

National Digital Health Blueprint infograph