In the month of September 2021, Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) was launched to provide the Indian people with a digital health ID card. The mission is carried out by the National Health Authority which falls under the ambit of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
ABDM’s overall vision is universal health insurance. It looks to create a seamless online platform by properly using open, interoperable standards-based digital systems to provide a wide range of data, information and infrastructure services, while ensuring the security, confidentiality of personal health-related data.
This mission was started to help citizens facilitate payment of consultation fees, find the right doctors, avoid frequent prescription visits and make appointments.
Under this mission each citizen receives a unique health ID. It acts as a digital archive of all personal health related data. Digital health cards are optional and free. The ID allows access and exchange of citizens’ health records. Mission’s Healthcare Professionals Registry and Healthcare Facilities Registry are archives for all healthcare providers. This includes both modern and traditional alternative medicine professionals. One can create a health ID using Aadhaar or mobile number. In the future, one should be able to register using driver’s license and PAN card. One will also have the option to temporarily disable the ID or remove it altogether and exit.
The idea behind this innovative mission is to ensure that citizens have fair access to health care by owning their own health data and ensuring continued care. The goal of is to establish a state-of-the-art digital health system for managing central digital health data and the infrastructure needed for their seamless exchange. Establish a register at the right level to provide a single source of information about clinical facilities, healthcare professionals, healthcare professionals, pharmaceutical companies, and pharmacies and adoption of open standards by all domestic digital health providers. It also looks to create a system of personal health records based on international standards that individuals, healthcare professionals, and service providers can easily access with their consent. Promote the development of enterprise-class health application systems with a particular focus on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in the health sector. Adopt the best principles of collaborative federalism, working with states and UT to realize the vision of the system. It will encourage private sector health professionals and institutions to actively participate with public health authorities to build ABDM through a combination of prescribing and advertising. Ensure national portability in the provision of medical services. Promote the use of clinical decision support systems by healthcare and physicians professionals. ABDM also looks to promote better management of the health sector through the use of health data analysis and medical research. Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of governance at all levels. Support effective steps to ensure the quality of health care. ABDM also looks to strengthen existing health information systems by ensuring compliance with defined standards and integration.
This mission allows patients to keep various kinds of medical records such as discharge reports, prescriptions and diagnostic reports safe. The mission provides medical services such as remote counselling and e-pharmacies. This mission provides medical professionals with better access to medical records and guarantees timely treatment. Patients may forget previous medical information. Patients do not have to take the report everywhere. Bringing together the aggregated information in one place is a great help for researchers. The mission provides citizens with both public and private coverage options.
Concerns regarding ABDM
Medical data which is acquired during the mission can be misused as there is no specific data protection law to prevent such abuse by malicious parties in society or private businesses. Citizens may also be excluded due to system errors.