Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 74th Independence Day speech, announced the launch of National Digital Health Mission (NDHM). The 'One Nation One Health Card' will digitize the health records of all Indians, making patient data accessible and inclusive in one card.
The 'One Nation One Health Card' will be voluntary, with the choice left to the discretion of individuals and hospitals. Individuals who opt for the card will be allotted a unique health ID.
Under the aegis of the health card, a person's medical history, doctor consultations, diagnosis and prescribed treatment will be saved in a digital database. Hospitals, clinics and doctors will be linked to a central server. The medical history will only be accessible to the individual concerned or any authorized person, with the consent of the patient.
A digital health card will carry multiple benefits. As the medical reports would be saved digitally, the card holder would not have to carry physical reports while changing cities or even consulting another doctor. With first-hand case history available at the click of the button, hospitals and doctors will be able to diagnose and treat patients better.
Telemedicine has come of age in these pandemic-ridden times and a digital health card will further boost such virtual medical consultation. A digital health repository will enable medical professionals to access previous records online and provide effective advice.
A digital repository of health records will also transform the medical insurance sector. Insurance companies will be able to make better health risk assessment based on health records of the insurance applicant, assuming that third-parties such as insurers will be allowed limited access to individual medical records, with adequate built-in safeguards. By ensuring quick health evaluation, digital repository will lower the costs for insurers and policyholders alike.