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NITI Aayog Releases Position Paper on Tech-Enabled Senior Care Reforms

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

February 20, 2024

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The position paper outlines specific interventions across four core areas: Health, Social, Economic/Financial, and Digital.

In a significant move to address the challenges posed by an aging population, the government think tank, NITI Aayog released a comprehensive position paper titled "Senior Care Reforms in India: Reimagining the Senior Care Paradigm" on February 16. The report aims to address the evolving needs of India’s aging population and create a more robust framework for senior citizens’ well-being. Highlighting the report's significance, Suman Bery, VC, NITI Aayog, said, "The release of this report is one of the stepping stones toward India’s commitment to achieve the goal of Viksit Bharat @2047." He further noted the need to harness technology and AI for enhanced senior care. The event marked a crucial step towards India's commitment to ensuring the well-being and dignity of its senior citizens.

Call to Action from Vision 2047 Document

In its forthcoming Vision 2047 document, the Centre has been conducting population forecasting exercises, with officials suggesting that India's population will stabilize at around 1.65 billion in the coming years. Alongside advancements in primary healthcare facilitated by initiatives such as Ayushman Bharat, the document advocates for bolstering mental health services and emergency response infrastructure and addressing nutrition-related concerns through programs such as the Poshan Abhiyaan for Senior Citizens. Highlighting the potential of integrating AYUSH systems for senior care, the Aayog emphasized the importance of preventive, wellness, and therapeutic interventions to address their health needs comprehensively. Describing the position paper as a call to action, Saurabh Garg, secretary, DoSJE, urged stakeholders to prioritize senior care reforms. He said, "The report is a call for action on what needs to be done to bring a greater focus on senior care." Additionally, he outlined the department's broad focus on aging with dignity, aging at home, and productive aging, encompassing social, economic, and health dimensions.

Multi-faceted Strategy for Effective Senior Care

The position paper outlines specific interventions across four core areas: health, social, economic/financial, and digital. It also advocates for a multi-faceted strategy that recognizes the evolving needs of seniors, encompassing medical and non-medical dimensions. The recommendations aim to design an inclusive and synergized senior care policy, pushing the boundaries of senior care in India. Addressing the need for dignity-driven aging, Dr VK Paul, Member (Health, NITI Aayog, said, "This is the time when serious discussions should emerge on making aging dignity-driven, safe, and productive." While NITI Aayog CEO BVR Subrahmanyam lauded the report for its policy directives. He also underscored the role of family values in healthy aging.

Recent Elderly Care Initiatives

In addition to policy reforms, various initiatives are underway to support senior citizens' healthcare needs. Tata AIG General Insurance introduced "Elder Care," a health insurance product tailored exclusively for senior citizens. This initiative aims to alleviate the financial burden of healthcare expenses for seniors, offering comprehensive coverage and home care services. Another notable initiative comes from Vesta Elder Care, which introduced the 'Vesta Doctor App,' a digital innovation designed to revolutionize geriatric care. Rahul Misra, founder, Vesta Elder Care, expressed the company's commitment to reshaping geriatric healthcare and leveraging technology to create a future where seniors and healthcare professionals thrive together. Furthermore, Vesta Elder Care partnered with the 'Healthians' app to provide quality-assured lab tests to senior citizens from the comfort of their homes. This collaboration leverages technology to enhance access to healthcare services, offering convenience and reliability to seniors across India.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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