Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission: Making healthcare accessible, the digital way

Source– The post is based on the article “Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission: Making healthcare accessible, the digital way” published in The Indian Express on 5th January 2023.

Syllabus: GS2- Issues related to development and management

Relevance– Use of digital technology for healthcare sector

News– The article explains the use of digital technology by the government for improving the heal;thcare services. It explains the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

How India has leveraged digital technology for provisioning of public goods?

India has demonstrated its digital prowess by building digital public goods like Aadhaar, the Unified Payments Interface.

India leveraged information and communications technologies during the pandemic. Digital health solutions played a crucial role in bridging the gap in healthcare delivery. Health systems moved online to accommodate contactless care.

Some examples of Digital Public Goods developed during the pandemic include the CoWIN and the Aarogya Setu application. CoWIN enabled the digitalisation of the vaccination process. Aarogya Setu provided real-time data on active cases and containment zones.

Telemedicine platforms saw a steep increase in user acquisitions. 85% of physicians used teleconsultations during the pandemic.

What is Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission and its components?

The PM launched this mission in September 2021, under the aegis of the National Health Authority. It has established a robust framework to provide accessible, affordable, and equitable healthcare through digital highways.

The ABDM has implemented vital building blocks to unite all stakeholders in the digital healthcare ecosystem. The Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) creates a standard identifier for patients across healthcare providers.

By using ABHA and its associated Personal Health Record app, citizens can link, store, and share their health records to access healthcare services with autonomy and consent.

The Health Facility Registry and the Health Professional Registries provide verified digital identities to public and private health facilities and professionals. This enables them to connect to a central digital ecosystem. HFR and HPR help health professionals build an online presence and offer services more effectively.

The Drug Registry is designed to create a single, up-to-date, centralised repository of all approved drugs across all systems of medicine.

What are other digital initiatives planned by the government for the healthcare sector?

The Unified Health Interface is another Digital Public Good being launched by the government. It enables all healthcare service providers and end-user applications to interact with each other on its network.

To give UHI the necessary push, the government is repurposing Aarogya Setu and CoWIN. Aarogya Setu is being transformed into a general health and wellness application.

CoWIN will be plugged with a lite Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) for small clinics. The purpose is to bring digitisation to the masses.

The government is also introducing Heal by India. It will make India’s healthcare professionals’ services available worldwide.

A platform is being developed to automate the allocation of deceased organ and tissue donations. It will make the process faster and more transparent.

Health Claim Exchange platform will automate the insurance claim settlement process.

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