THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: When Kerala launched the ambitious eHealth project in January last, it became the first state in the country to launch such a kind of initiative.
Now a year-and-a-half later, when the public think-tank NITI Aayog mulls the idea of a digital health framework called National Health Stack (NHS), the state has much to cheer about as the proposed NHS has many similarities to the state’s own eHealth project.
NITI Aayog released the ‘Strategy and Approach paper on the NHS’, on Friday terming it as ‘the blueprint for India’s futuristic digital health system.’
As per the consultation paper, NHS envisages a centraliSed health record for all citizens of the country, thereby streamlining the health information and facilitating effective management of the same. The proposed initiative will become part of the Centre’s flagship National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS).
“As per the document, NHS is a collection of cloud-based services. One of its major features includes the preparation of a beneficiary registry and linking it with their Aadhaar number. These same components were there in the eHealth Kerala project,” said an officer with the National Health Mission.
According to the officer, the state’s project that operates on the concept of ‘one citizen one health record’ is also the core of NHS. “The eHealth Kerala is an Aadhaar-based project where citizens will have a unique identification and unified health care record. With the help of a comprehensive Electronic Health Record(EHR), the treatment record of a person will be available at a click of a button. As the past treatment records are available, doctors will also be in a better position to provide personalised attention a patient,” the officer said.
The eHealth Kerala project that envisions to cover government hospitals including medical colleges that provide allopathy treatment also plans to rope in pharmacies and laboratories of hospitals including private hospitals thus facilitating the citizens with minimum waiting period at these service centres.
The project, first launched on a pilot basis in Thiruvananthapuram district, now covers Alappuzha, Kasaragod, Malappuram, Idukki, Ernakulam and Kannur districts. According to the Health Department, the remaining seven district will be covered in the second phase.
Healthcare experts said the proposed NHS will be far better than the state’s eHealth Project as it guarantees a shared digital infrastructure to help achieve ‘the desired continuum of care’ across primary, secondary and tertiary care.
With such a robust system in place, the state could not only rollout various health initiatives but also could ensure its effective implementation. The NHS is also expected to boost the ‘comprehensive healthcare programme’ as envisioned in the State Budget 2018-19.
Inside the project
NHS is a collection pof
One of its major features is the preparation of a beneficiary registry and linking it with their Aadhaar number
The project operates on the concept of ‘one citizen one health record’