India is witnessing tremendous innovation in the health sector with the adoption of new technologies and best practices. Sunil Kumar, Deputy Director General & Head of Group (Health & AI), National Informatics Centre (NIC) shared insights into how technology is making healthcare easier for patients at the 10th Elets Healthcare Innovation Summit.
“We need to concentrate on five things – integration by design, scalability by design, connected health, anonymisation, and sharing of data for research and AI models,” he said.
At the summit held on 22-23 June, Kumar discussed the products developed by NIC. He stated, “Our product Online Registration System (ORS) provides online access to hospital services. Patients can easily take appointments and access their lab reports.”
He further highlighted another digital initiative – e-hospital, which aims to improve the delivery of healthcare services to the citizens across the country. “It is a hospital management information system that takes care of 10 primary modules. It addresses all major functional areas of a hospital.”
Both products are integrated with Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM). “The products have received the certificates of Milestone 1, Milestone 2 & Milestone 3,” he said.
Milestone 1 implies the capability of integrating or creating Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) ID. “With the integration of ABHA number with the patient’s ID, we were able to sync health records, which further facilitated sharing of health records between different hospitals. These were the three milestones that we achieved in respect of the e-hospital and M1 has been achieved for ORS.”
He further added, “Every software that grasps patient-level data, must be incorporated with ABHA number. This will help citizens to track their health records on mobile.”
NIC has developed another innovative product named e-blood bank, a complete blood bank management system. Now, the government is also focussing on strengthening teleradiology in the county. “We have decided to take care of the radiology section in a big way,” he said, adding that the government’s flagship programme e-Sanjeevani is going very well across the country.
Kumar also discussed the Reproductive and Child Health System, which tracks the health of pregnant women. “Services such as ANC delivery and PNC are provided under this. As patient’s databases and health records are now available, we are in the process of making the health records accessible to pregnant women and the immunisation records of children to their parents.”
We have recently launched a product named Oxycare that monitors oxygen devices such as oxygen consultators, PSA plants, ventilators, oxygen controllers, and oxygen cylinders, he further stated.
NIC is closely working with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and other health institutions to facilitate online services to patients.
Kumar shared that every lab analyser should be automated. “A digital analyser must be present everywhere and the private sector has a vital role to play here. Whatever data we have in the anonymous form, it should be shared for training the AI models and for the purpose of research.”