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ABDM Aims to Interconnect Healthcare Systems: Narendra Singh, NHA

Written by : Jayati Dubey

June 7, 2024

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Narendra Singh, program manager (Adoption) for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, National Health Authority, recently shared insights on the government's pivotal role in digitizing healthcare in India at the DHN Forum Mumbai.

Singh's discourse highlighted the transformative journey of digital healthcare in the nation, focusing on the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) and its profound impact on healthcare accessibility and efficiency.

The Digital Healthcare Evolution

Singh commenced his address by drawing parallels between the evolution of digital banking and digital healthcare in India.

He emphasized how digitalization revolutionized banking through initiatives including UPI (Unified Payments Interface) and NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India), making financial transactions seamless and accessible.

Building on this analogy, Singh outlined the vision of ABDM to interconnect healthcare systems across the country, akin to the connectivity achieved in the banking sector.

"Just as UPI and NPCI connected ATMs, ABDM aims to interconnect healthcare systems, ensuring digital health records are accessible nationwide," Singh explained.

Connecting the Dots: Interoperability & Federated Data

Central to ABDM's strategy is ensuring interoperability among disparate healthcare systems, enabling seamless exchange of digital health data.

Singh highlighted the importance of federated data, emphasizing that ABDM doesn't centralize data but rather securely facilitates its accessibility across various systems.

He added, "We are not creating a central warehouse of data; instead, we're building a federated system where data can be accessed by any authorized system."

Health Information Exchange & Claims Processing

Unified Health Interface & Digital Identity

ABDM's Unified Health Interface (UHI) emerged as a game-changer in facilitating teleconsultations, lab test bookings, and pharmacy searches.

Singh highlighted the democratization of technology through UHI, enabling access to healthcare services beyond platform limitations.

Additionally, Singh emphasized the importance of digital identity, emphasizing the creation of Aadhaar-linked Aabha accounts to streamline healthcare interactions and ensure data integrity.

"Just as UPI transformed digital payments, ABDM's UHI is revolutionizing access to healthcare services, transcending platform boundaries," Singh remarked.

Providing a glimpse into ABDM's achievements, Singh revealed staggering numbers, including 62 crore Aabha accounts created, over 2.75 Lakh registered health facilities, and more than 3.6 million health professionals onboarded.

He showcased ABDM's impact on queue management in healthcare facilities, highlighting the elimination of queues through digital token systems.

He concluded by sharing that the ABDM's success lies in its ability to democratize technology, empower patients, and streamline healthcare delivery.

In essence, Narendra Singh's discourse underscored ABDM's pivotal role in catalyzing the digital transformation of healthcare in India, promising a future where healthcare services are accessible, efficient, and patient-centric.

Singh delved into the significance of Health Information Exchange (HIE) under ABDM, likening it to the ATM switch or NEFT gateway in banking.

He elucidated how ABDM's framework facilitates the exchange of health data among different healthcare providers, ensuring efficient information flow for enhanced patient care.

Furthermore, Singh shed light on the National Health Claims Exchange (NHCX), which aims to streamline insurance claims processing and improve transparency in healthcare financing.

Regarding NHCX, Singh shared, "Our objective is to ensure that pre-authorization for health claims is processed within one hour, enhancing efficiency and reducing delays in healthcare financing."


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