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Digital health great equaliser, need to create tech-enabled system to ensure last-mile healthcare delivery: Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

Mansukh Mandaviya Health Minister at Davos

Calling digital health a great equaliser, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday said there is a need to create a tech-supported healthcare service delivery that is resilient, reliable, and accessible till the last-mile.

Addressing a session on ‘Unlocking the power of digital health’ at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting here, he said India has been at the forefront of utilising technology to augment the healthcare delivery to its citizens.

“Digital health is a great equaliser and enabler to support Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals and can help ensure accessibility and affordability of health service delivery,” he said.

With prime focus moving on from siloed to an ecosystem approach for digital health, India is creating a national framework for digital health in India, he said.

Under Ayushman Bharat or ‘Long Live India’ Digital Mission, India has embarked on digital transformation of healthcare in India.

“The focus is on creation of a longitudinal Electronic Health Record for more than 1.3 billion people of India,” he said.

The minister said India has already issued more than 220 million Unique Health IDs along with health facilities and provider registry and it has already utilised digital health interventions for its national program management.

He further said the country’s Reproductive & Child Healthcare IT platform tracks more than 120 million pregnant women for their check up, delivery planning and over 90 million children for immunisation.

Further, the Health Management Information system regularly collates data regarding health programmes from more than 200,000 health facilities.

Another application has screened more than 80 million citizens for diabetes, hypertension and cancers, in turn creating a population profile of India.

Telemedicine platform e-Sanjeevani has benefited more than 390 million beneficiaries through video consultations during COVID-19 pandemic, making it the biggest such platform in the world, he said.

On the CoWin platform, he said it has monitored administration of more than 1.92 billion vaccination doses, including beneficiary registration, adverse event monitoring and a QR code-based digital digital certificate.

India has also promoted digital health agenda at global level as Chair in Global Digital Health Partnership, he said.

The minister said it was India which had moved the Digital Health Resolution in WHO to prioritise the global framework for digital health.

“We have offered Co-WIN as a digital public good to other countries to aid their vaccination efforts, aligned with India’s commitment to the traditional philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, that is World Is One Family,” he said.

The minister said digital health interventions can help penetrate health service delivery till the last-mile ensuring equitable healthcare service delivery.

“With technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Cloud computing, 5G, nanotech, we need to create a tech supported healthcare service delivery which is resilient, reliable, and accessible till the last-mile,” he said.

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