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Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will transform India’s healthcare sector, says Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar

Laying emphasis on the importance of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) that aims to connect digital health solutions of hospitals across the country with one another, Karnataka Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said Ayushman Bharat or long life for all Indians can be ensured when quality healthcare can be provided to one and all.

“This is possible by providing not just the infrastructure but also the technology platform that ABDM envisages to build. This platform will help gradually move the health system from one focused on promotive and preventive health, to one that will also focus on predictive health,” he said at NHA-NASSCOM Conclave 2022 on ABDM jointly organised by the National Health Authority (NHA) and NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Service Companies).

The conclave held on Monday saw the participation of over 400 stakeholders and industry veterans from the healthcare and technology sector as well as the investor community in India in physical/virtual mode.

Sharing his thoughts on Karnataka’s Vision on Digital Health, Sudhakar added, “During our fight against Covid-19 pandemic, we saw the importance of digital services for healthcare delivery. The impact that teleconsultation, online appointment bookings, readily available health information and access to specialists had on people was unprecedented. We are positive that the ABDM platform will help us scale the efforts and create a conducive environment with enthusiastic public and private sector participation. We look forward to taking up implementation of ABDM in mission mode and giving it speed, scalability and support that we can provide at state-level to achieve the ultimate aim of healthcare for all.”

Speaking on the vision behind the ABDM, Dr RS Sharma, CEO, NHA, said, “India is standing at the forefront of digital revolution. The world has seen the success story of our country with the largest digital identity programme, record adoption of digital payments and more recently, national vaccination programme via CoWIN platform. The ABDM aims to replicate this success in healthcare delivery by building an equitable, accessible and inclusive ecosystem that rides on collaborative efforts of the government and private sectors.”

“The NHA has been implementing the ABDM, which essentially is how do we digitise the health sector so as to take all the advantages digitally including claiming insurance, and delivering health services. We have built a drug registry, health provider registry, health facility registry and unified health interface. Now we want to take it forward. We feel that software and investments are integral to taking it forward and we need to capitalise on this. During Covid-19, people have shifted to digital mode be it consulting doctors on Whatsapp, etc. We are now formalising this interaction so that it becomes transparent and not misused,” Sharma added.

He also announced that a tech centre of the ABDM will be established in Bengaluru since the city is an IT hub.

The NHA recently announced that the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) mobile app has been revamped under the ABDM. The app, which allows the users to link, access and share health records, can now be used to maintain a digital repository of health records. The ABHA mobile app enables an individual to create a username that can be linked with a randomly generated 14 digit ABHA number. The users can also link their health records created at ABDM compliant health facilities and view them on smartphones.

Sharma said the ABHA app will help citizens create their health records which can be shared anytime.

According to the ABDM website, 66.3 lakh ABHAs have been created out of which 27.8 lakh are in Bengaluru alone.

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