“iHIND Builds a Health Information Network”

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Shiban Ganju, President of Atrimed Pharmaceuticals and convener of iHIND, has plans to develop and integrate end-to- end electronic healthcare informatics network in India. iHIND is a national interoperable health information network, which enables various stakeholders to have access to healthcare information

A pilot for rural health IT has been conducted to connect 16 Rajiv Arogya Yojna clinics in Amethi, UP. The collaborators in the project being IAMI, CDAC, SAI Tech, Asia Heart Foundation and Save A Mother Foundation

Shiban Ganju
President of Atrimed Pharmaceuticals
and Convener, iHIND

iHIND (Indian Health Information Network Development) is a national volunteer lead initiative for creation of a HIN (Health Information Network). It takes account of India’s 626 districts and uses a hub-and-spoke model to connect various healthcare entities and aggregate data. The initial 20 member team has rapidly grown to 41. iHIND has expertise in various fields, including drug surveillance , improved healthcare quality, healthcare finance and technology, secure access to data on demand, reduction of duplication and errors, fraud and abuse prevention, public health and planning.

A pilot for rural health IT has been conducted to connect 16 Rajiv Arogya Yojna clinics in Amethi, UP. The collaborators in the project being IAMI, CDAC, SAI Tech, Asia Heart Foundation and Save A Mother Foundation.

Policy Matters

The government health department, insurers provide need based access, which is revenue neutral data. This is minimum data created to merge into clinical UID and UHID. Policy framework is important to facilitate the data to access issues pertaining  to healthcare. The national autonomous (neutral), governing council looks after the accountability issues, and ensures appropriate participation, policy and legal consistency and transparency.

The draft policy work was submitted to the Ministry of Health in April 2010 for the start of a pilot in rural and urban districts. In the meanwhile Health Secretary formed a team to identify EMR standards for India with a six month mandate. The team is working on this and making good progress and we expect to complete the work in March 2011.

Futuristic Models

The iHIND foundation designs, develops and integrates an end-to-end electronic healthcare informatics network in India to improve public health, health research and the delivery of healthcare. The healthcare department needs to identify standards necessary for India and comply with international standards. Establishment of open  source, open architecture, tools and components that support standards-based development  and operations of the healthcare systems is equally important. The initiative  ensures systems interoperability across all platforms and mediums and aims to assess potential privacy and security issues and set up guidelines for its compliance. It also helps to develop methods of certification and accreditation process for all healthcare stakeholders. .

The work is primarily focussed on empowering the rural in India with improved healthcare infrastructure. With the successful implementation of Telehealth programmes, an initiative taken up by UNICEF and Bill Gates Foundation, the maternal  mortality rates have fallen by 93 percent in 1000 villages in 39 districts. The cost of this IT project is also quite low.

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