Spike in the number of COVID-19 cases within the past day has prompted the government to expedite the implementation of the National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB) that aims at creating a single repository of the core digital health data of all citizens.
Preeti Sudan, secretary, union ministry of health, said that the blueprint got approval in a meeting of Standing Finance Committee of the government on Wednesday. While announcing a slew of measures to reform the Indian healthcare sector, Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on May 17 had indicated that the government will implement a National Digital Health Mission (NDHM).
COVID-19 pandemic, which has already claimed over 5,000 lives, has highlighted the importance of healthcare data to identify risk to people from diseases and it will also assist in developing new treatment and save lives.
“The work on the project has already started. We have forwarded a proposal to the finance ministry. We are also working on the sanctioning of posts. This will be a population registry that will have a long-term positive impact on the healthcare ecosystem in India. We are working as per the vision of the finance minister to create a digital health ecosystem,” Sudan was quoted as saying by Mint.
A health ministry panel had prepared the National Digital Health Blueprint to create a framework for the national health stack proposed in 2018 by the NITI Aayog.
“It was stuck for more than two years over various issues but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was expedited and approved within 10 days after the announcement made by the finance minister,” a senior government official was quoted as saying by in the report.
However, there is concern about unauthorized access to health records considering the sharp increase in the number of cases of privacy violations and data breaches. But the government has assured that it will ensure that nothing gets leaked and data is not misused.