E-commerce and online payment platforms will soon be integrated with the Unified Health Interface (UHI) under Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), the government of India's National Health Authority (NHA) has confirmed to Business Today.
Central government-backed UHI is an open network designed to enable interoperable digital health service delivery.
After integration of these platforms with UHI, users can avail a large number of health services like tele-consultation with a doctor, availing services of a lab, transferring test reports or health records digitally to the doctor and paying digitally for any of the above services.
“Along with companies and organisations into healthcare, players who are otherwise mostly into e-commerce or payment systems, like Paytm or Flipkart, have also started integrating with us. We have one dedicated page on the website of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission where we show all the partners who have integrated with us so far,” said Kiran Gopal Vaska, Director, NHA.
“More than 800 integrators are currently at various stages of integration. Notable names like SRL Diagnostics, Dr Lal Path Labs, Apollo Hospitals, new health tech companies like DocPrime, DRiefcase etc., government applications like Aarogya Setu, are some of the companies and brands that have integrated with the UHI,” he said.
The NHA is the nodal government body implementing ABDM. ABDM, the central government said, aims to create a seamless online platform through the provision of a wide-range of data, information and infrastructure services, duly leveraging open, interoperable, standards-based digital systems while ensuring the security, confidentiality and privacy of health-related personal information.
“UHI has a robust inter-operability which is the next big frontier to enable seamless transfer of patient data. Aggregation of bulk patient data is a large healthcare opportunity for both public and private sectors,” said Vaska, adding that UHI will be an enabler in terms of making people come together and digitise their health records and health services by enabling this interoperability.
NHA is also responsible for the implementation of another flagship scheme of the Government of India - Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY). AB-PMJAY is the flagship scheme of union government that provides a cover of up to Rs 5 lakhs per family per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalisation. PMJAY, a cashless and paperless access to services for the beneficiary at the point of service, aims to cover over 10.74 crore vulnerable entitled families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) will be eligible for these benefits. As health insurance is another focus of the government, UHI may also have an impact on insurance claims.
“In fact, UHI is going to have a seamless interaction with the health claims exchange. In an open network, such as UHI, patients and health service providers can be on different applications but will be able to seamlessly interact. Insurance also becomes an integral part of the whole healthcare digital space as UHI also aims to improve or reduce out of pocket expenditure by better health coverage or insurance coverage,” said Vaska.
Vaska explained that as far as the aggregation of patient data is concerned, the UHI will enable sharing of data from wherever it is to wherever somebody wants to see or access for the purpose of providing healthcare.
“The aggregation of bulk patient data is a slightly different concept where UHI doesn't really come into the picture where all the participating entities in the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission share anonymised aggregated data for the purpose of analysis, which could be used by those who are sharing the data themselves,” he said.
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