Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission UPSC.

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News: Recently, PM Modi launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM). This mission has the potential to bring a revolutionary change to India’s healthcare facilities. Read more here.

What is Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission?

The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) aims to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country. It will bridge the existing gap amongst different stakeholders of the Healthcare ecosystem through digital highways.

This mission is a nationwide flagship and revolutionary digital initiative which aims to create not just a unique health ID for the citizens but also a registry of digital healthcare professionals and health facilities. It is implemented by the National Health Authority under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. To be a part of this mission is completely voluntary and free of cost and people do not have to mandatorily create a health ID.

ayushman bharat digital mission

Last year’s economic survey (2020) highlighted the information asymmetry in the medical field. The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission seeks to bring various stakeholders on a platform. This will help in ease of sharing, diagnosing, and ultimately bringing out the families from poverty.

The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission comprises three components.

  1. Digital Health ID.
  2. Healthcare Professionals Registry. and
  3. Health Facilities Registry.

Digital Heath ID:

There will be a unique 14 digit identification number generated randomly if a person wants to be a part of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. This ID will be broadly used for three purposes: unique identification, authentication, and threading of the beneficiary’s health records. The accessing of the health records will be done only with the informed consent of the beneficiary. The beneficiary’s health records will only then be accessed across multiple systems and stakeholders.

The Digital Health ID can be created using personal details such as Name, Mobile Number and Aadhar Number. This ID will retain details of all healthcare records such as the laboratory tests results, visits to doctors, various illnesses, surgeries, medicines/drugs consumed, etc.

Healthcare Professionals Registry.

Healthcare Professionals Registry is a comprehensive repository of all healthcare professionals involved in the delivery of healthcare services across both modern and traditional systems of medicine. This registry will be a database of all medical professionals in both traditional and modern medicines. Enrolling in the Healthcare Professionals Registry will enable the professionals like doctors, nurses, ASHA workers, etc to get connected to India’s digital health ecosystem.

Healthcare professionals signing up will be able to access a host of digital services. The envisaged benefits will become available as the ecosystem evolves. The registry is designed to be secure and nationally portable.

Moreover, it will be also beneficial to the patient/ end-user to confirm whether the professional registered is a licensed practitioner or not, what specialization does the professional holds, and the years of practice, etc.

Health Facility Registry.

Health Facility Registry is a comprehensive repository of all the health facilities of the country across different systems of medicine. It includes both public and private health facilities including hospitals, clinics, diagnostic laboratories, and imaging centers, pharmacies, etc.

Know the working of Ayushman Bharat Health Mission:

Benefits of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission:

  1. Seamless flow of health information across healthcare providers.
  2. Continuum of care from Primary to Secondary to Tertiary healthcare units. i.e from village to city level.
  3. Reduced out-of-pocket expenditure on lab tests. (this helps in ultimately navigating the below poverty line population and eventually improving their standard of living)
  4. Provide immediate treatment based on medical history. (It means no need to do the same tests again when visiting multiple doctors)
  5. Addresses the problem of the absence of a centralized database of all healthcare providers.
  6. The greater choice to the people.
  7. Efficient utilization of healthcare providers through telemedicine.
  8. Enable patients to seek medical assistance only from licensed and registered medical practitioners. i.e to get rid of quacks.
  9. The mission helps the government to identify the infrastructural and healthcare issues.
  10. Facilitate data-driven evidence-based Policy Making. (this can help the government to identify the major diseases exiting in the country and formulate policies accordingly).
  11. Optimize the government’s expenditure on healthcare.
  12. Increase enrollment of Beneficiaries under various schemes of the government.

Challenges for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission:

  1. Increasing enrollment of people in the mission will be a tough task.
  2. Problems related to digital infrastructure and digital literacy.
  3. Interoperability of databases by different hospitals.
  4. Data theft; data is prone to be misused as it will be maintained with the healthcare providers.
  5. Overemphasis on digital technology, since a large number of people are digitally illiterate in the country. Especially in the remote parts of India.
  6. Empirical Evidence: Failure of UK’s National Programme for IT (Electronic Healthcare Records) – lower enrollment of people, lack of integration of hospital databases with electronic health records, higher expenditure. Finally, it was ended in 2011.

Questions related to the topic:

Q. Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission is a revolutionary step in the healthcare arena. Discuss (10M)

Q. What are the benefits and the challenges of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. (10M)

Q. Consider the following statement about National Digital Health Mission

1. Mission comes under the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana.
2. Every Indian will get a Health ID card under NDHM.

Select the correct option-

a. 1 Only
b. 2 Only
c. 1 and 2 Both
d. None

Answer: C

Q. With reference to Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), consider the following statements.
  1. It is a Central Sector Scheme.
  2. It aims at providing health insurance cover of Rs. 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

A.  1 Only

B.  2 Only

C.  Both 1 and 2

D.  Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: B

Q. With reference to Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), consider the following statements.

  1. Every Indian citizen has to register in the ABDM and generate a unique ID.
  2. It has three components viz. Digital Health ID, Healthcare Professionals Registry and Health facilities Registry.
  3. The mission aims to create a centralized database with the ultimate goal for reducing poverty and out of pocket expenses on healthcare.
Which of the above statements is/are correct?

A.  1 Only

B.  2 Only

C.  2 and 3

D.  All of the above

Answer: C

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