Health

India’s National Health Mission launches digital health project in Assam

The National Health Mission, in partnership with health non-profit Piramal Swasthya and IT giant Cisco, has introduced a new project to digitise the public healthcare delivery in the Indian state of Assam.

Dubbed Niramay, the project covers health and wellness centres, block primary health centres and district hospitals at three local districts – Baksa, Barpeta, and Darrang. 

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Project Niramay will provide specialist consultation and early diagnosis of non-communicable diseases and cases of high-risk pregnancy. It will also enhance the quality of health data and patient experience, ultimately helping to minimise people’s out-of-pocket spending on health. 

The project is based on Piramal Swasthya’s integrated health technology platform called Accessible Medical Records via Integrated Technologies or AMRIT, where public healthcare EHRs are created and stored. Its users are each given unique identification that facilitates the referral mechanism in order to access healthcare services. The platform, the group said, can also ensure the collection of quality health data, thereby helping authorities in evidence-based decision making. 

WHY IT MATTERS

Niramay is a step to realise the digitisation of health services in Assam as envisioned by the government’s National Digital Health Mission. 

“This project will work towards strengthening digital infrastructure to enable telemedicine interactions, rapid diagnostics, patient’s health records and data collection at the grass-root level in three aspirational districts in Assam,” Anurag Goel, the Department of Health and Family Welfare’s principal secretary to the Government of Assam, was quoted as saying.

With long term health data available on AMRIT, the platform allows beneficiaries to consult “any doctor at any given time and anywhere with complete medical history,” said Piramal Swasthya, Vice President Hardeep Singh Bambrah. The access to volumes of health data also makes it convenient for medical professionals to plan referrals and forecast potential disease outbreaks, he added.

THE LARGER CONTEXT

The Pradhan Mantri Digital Health Mission, also known as the National Digital Health Mission, was formally launched last year in late September by the National Health Authority. It involves the establishment of digital health IDs, a registry of doctors called Digi-doctor, a registry of health facilities, and electronic health records. The programme aims to bridge the gap among stakeholders in the Indian healthcare ecosystem through digitisation.

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