General Studies IIHealth

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission


Cabinet approves implementation of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission with a budget of ₹1,600 crore for five years

Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM)

Under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), every citizen can get a digital health ID and the health records would be digitally protected.

  • The mission aims to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country. 
  • It will close the current gap that exists among the various stakeholders of the country’s healthcare ecosystem through digital technologies.
  • The mission was launched during the third anniversary of the Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB PM-JAY).
  • The National Health Authority (NHA) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is the implementing agency of the mission.


ABDM’s broad vision is universal health coverage. It will 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.

Objectives of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission

The idea behind this revolutionary mission is to make healthcare equitable and accessible to all citizens giving a continuum of care with citizens being the owner of their health data. The stated objectives of the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission are as follows:

  1. Establishing state-of-the-art digital health systems to manage the core digital health data, and the infrastructure required for its seamless exchange;
  2. Establishing registries at appropriate levels to generate a single source of truth with respect to clinical establishments, health workers, healthcare professionals, drugs and pharmacies;
  3. Enforcing the adoption of open standards by all national digital health stakeholders;
  4. Creating a system of personal health records, based on international standards, easily accessible to individuals and healthcare professionals and services providers, based on individual’s informed consent;
  5. Promoting the development of enterprise-class health application systems with a special focus on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for health;
  6. Adopting the best principles of cooperative federalism while working with the States and UTs for the fulfilment of the scheme’s vision;
  7. Ensuring that healthcare professionals & institutions in the private sector participate actively with public health authorities in the building of the ABDM, through a combination of prescription and promotion;
  8. Ensuring national portability in the provision of health services;
  9. Promoting the use of clinical decision support (CDS) systems by health practitioners and professionals;
  10. Promoting better management of the health sector leveraging health data analytics and medical research;
  11. Providing for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of governance at every level;
  12. Supporting effective steps being taken for assuring quality of healthcare; and
  13. Strengthening the existing health information systems by ensuring their compliance with the defined standards and integration with the proposed ABDM.

Features of the Mission

  • Health ID:
    • It will be issued for every citizen that will also work as their health account. This health account will contain details of every test, every disease, the doctors visited, the medicines taken and the diagnosis.
    • Health ID is free of cost, voluntary. It will help in doing analysis of health data and lead to better planning, budgeting and implementation for health programs.
  • Healthcare Facilities & Professionals’ Registry:
    • The other major component of the programme is creating a Healthcare Professionals’ Registry (HPR) and Healthcare Facilities Registry (HFR), allowing easy electronic access to medical professionals and health infrastructure.
    • The HPR will be a comprehensive repository of all healthcare professionals involved in delivering healthcare services across both modern and traditional systems of medicine.
    • The HFR database will have records of all the country’s health facilities.
  • Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission Sandbox:
    • The Sandbox, created as a part of the mission, will act as a framework for technology and product testing that will help organisations, including private players intending to be a part of the national digital health ecosystem become a Health Information Provider or Health Information User or efficiently link with building blocks of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.

What are the Benefits and Related Concerns of Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission?

  • Expected Benefits:
    • Ensure ease of doing business for doctors and hospitals and healthcare service providers.
    • Enable access and exchange of longitudinal health records of citizens with their consent.
    • Create integration within the digital health ecosystem, similar to the role played by the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in revolutionising payments.
    • The mission will improve “equitable access” to quality healthcare as it’ll encourage the use of technologies such as telemedicine, and enable national portability of health services.
  • Concerns:
    • The lack of a data protection bill could lead to the misuse of data by private firms and bad actors.
    • Exclusion of citizens and denied healthcare due to faults in the system are also a cause of concern.

Way Forward

  • The National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) still does not recognize Health as a justiciable right. There should be a push draft at making health a right, as prescribed in the draft National Health Policy, 2015.
  • In addition, the failure of a similar National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom must be learnt from and the technical and implementation-related deficiencies must be proactively addressed prior to launching the mission on a pan India scale.
  • The standardisation of NDHM architecture across the country will need to find ways to accommodate state-specific rules. It also needs to be in sync with government schemes like Ayushman Bharat Yojana and other IT-enabled schemes like Reproductive Child Health Care and NIKSHAY etc.
 National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) 
National Digital Health Mission (NDHM)

Source: The Hindu

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