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Role of IT in Healthcare Transformation

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Healthcare experts including policymakers and industry leaders underlined importance of IT to optimize various processes, leading to enriched healthcare experience to people at large, while participating during a panel discussion on ‘Role of IT in Healthcare Transformation’ at Elets Healthcare Transformation Summit held recently.

Panelists who participated in the discussion include Dr Vipul Aggarwal, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB – PMJAY), Government of India; Kiran Anandampillai, Advisor (Technology), National Health Authority (NHA), Government of India; Dr K Madan Gopal, Senior Consultant (Health), NITI Aayog, Government of India; Dr Raj Kamal Yadav, Mission Director, Ayush Mission, Uttar Pradesh, Special Secretary, Ayush, Government of Uttar Pradesh; and Naresh Hasija, Associate Vice President, Mylan Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd.

Highlighting role of IT, Dr Aggarwal, elaborated about the Ayushman Bharat scheme. He said: “Ayushman Bharat is world’s largest public funded health insurance scheme launched in 2018. It provides health cover of Rs 5 lakh/family/year. It covers all the secondary & tertiary care hospitalization including covid-19 testing and treatment. It is entitlement based scheme. We have empanelled 23,000 private and public hospitals. 31 States/UTs have converged or implementing only PM-JAY. It is becoming a national platform for other schemes to converge. It is being run through robust IT platform. We have comprehensive dashboard for beneficiary identification, portability, and to monitor state & district performance.Till date, 125cr E-cards have been issued. We have spent more than 150,000 crore on hospital admission.”

Also read: New Digital Health Disruption in Post COVID-19 Era

Another panelist Dr Raj Kamal Yadav, Mission Director, Ayush Mission, Uttar Pradesh, Special Secretary, Ayush, Government of Uttar Pradesh, spoke on how the State implemented Ayush Kavch app to benefits people. “IT has played a key role in augmenting delivery of services. During Corona times, its role has increased manifold. We also leveraged the technology and launched Ayush Kavach App. It is a single stop centre where one can get all information like Ayush traditional information, and yoga protocols. The App also facilitated telemedicine services. Till date, a total of 20 lakh downloads have happened. We also delivered 26,000 tele consultations. Chat based consultation was new initiative. Synergy of IT with latest initiatives would be very beneficial,” he said.

Dr K Madan Gopal, Senior Consultant (Health), NITI Aayog, Government of India explained a little about how the concept of NDHM shaped up. “When the Ayushman Bharat was being rolled out, we thought of having an integrated software in form of health stack so hat preventive and curative care could talk to each other. Idea was that preventive data would be coming from different ministries, different programmes having personal level data and another data from PM-JAY. Initially it was an idea of having a National Health Stack which ultimately took shape in form of National Digital Health Mission blueprint. It will be rolled out soon and pilot project has been launched in few of the Union Territories. Awareness would be a major challenge. To leverage technology in best manner, it should be synchronize with existing system and processes,” he said.

Kiran Anandampillai, Advisor (Technology), National Health Authority (NHA), Government of India, explained more about NDHM and how it will work.He said: “NDHM offers huge opportunity to both public and private sector. It is a voluntary programme and anybody can have health ID. If you want digital copy of your health record, you should register for health ID. We are looking at architecture which is essentially user controlled, consent driven, and can be transferred to any provider. It can be accessed anywhere anytime with your consent. In phase one, we are targeting those things which have been digitalized already. It is becoming very pervasive and in near future it will be adopted on large scale in healthcare. NDHM is providing intraoperability and enabling infrastructure that will help unlock potential of digital health records.

Naresh Hasija, Associate Vice President, Mylan Pharmaceutical Pvt Ltd, also explained how his organization is leveraging IT to scale up things. “We are a research-based organization. For us, integrating IT from research to manufacturing is important aspect. During Covid times, we have created digital supply chain. We are distributing Remdesivir across India. We have anti diversion law. We also have mandate from DCGI to collect patient consent form for every patient and medicine should be made available in covid hospitals. We have robust surveillance system on our distribution network. It is huge enabler. It has many applications including knowledge dissemination,” he said.

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