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DigiLocker's Integration with Ayushman Bharat Could Be the Next Big Thing in India

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Not so long ago, we all carried physical documents for almost all official purposes. Now the scenarios have changed, and we can save all our documents on our mobile in DigiLocker. It reduces costs, eliminates customer complaints relating to non-delivery of documentation, improves the turnaround time of insurance services, enables faster claims processing and settlement, reduces disputes, and mitigates fraud, among others. People can now avail authentic documents legally on par with originals in the DigiLocker. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), the mega insurance scheme, to digitally transform the healthcare ecosystem in the country. Under the ABDM, every citizen can get a digital health ID, under which the health records will be protected digitally.

Now DigiLocker has completed the second level of integration with Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. Users can digitally store health records and link them with their Ayushman Bharat Health Account. The main aim of DigiLocker is to empower citizens by providing access to authentic digital documents. The issued documents in the DigiLocker system are deemed to be at par with the original physical documents.

DigiLocker and ABDM
Through level 1 integration, DigiLocker added ABHA or Ayushman Bharat Health Account creation facility for its 13 crore users. The present integration will now enable users to utilize DigiLocker as a Personal Health Records (PHR) app. It is a trusted and popular app to access authentic documents, making it a significant development as users now get to use it as a PHR app and get the benefits of paperless record keeping.

IDs can be created using a mobile number or the Aadhaar. In the future, registering through a PAN card or driving license would also be made possible. People can either deactivate their ID temporarily or permanently delete it

Ayushman Bharat holders can link their health records from different Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission registered health facilities like hospitals and labs and access them via DigiLocker, a Ministry of Health and Family Welfare statement. Cardholders can scan and upload their old health records on the app. Besides, users can share selected records with Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission registered healthcare professionals.

Through ABDM, the government is building an interoperable health ecosystem. The different applications from both the public and private sector partners integrating with ABDM are helping expand the reach of the scheme to more users and adding more functionality. In order to extend the benefits of ABDM to our 130 million registered users. The platform has already helped generate close to 85 thousand ABHA numbers. With the health locker integration, more people would be able to easily link and manage their health records digitally. DigiLocker aims to be the preferred health locker for ABHA users.

Objectives of Digilocker
To every cardholder, DigiLocker provides an account in the cloud to access their important documents or certificates, including driver's licenses, vehicle registration, and academic certificates in digital format. According to reports, over 58.66 million people have registered with DigiLocker, and the platform has issued over 4.27 billion authentic documents. A total of 491 documents are part of DigiLocker, of which the most available document is the Aadhaar card. About 1,22,91,92,140 have been searched. Class 10 and 12 mark sheets are among the most popular documents at DigiLocker, with as many as 11,10,48,070 class 10 and 7,99,50,171 class 12 mark sheets available on the platform.

Objectives and Advantages of ABDM
The aim of the mission is to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country. The mission helps close the current gap 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). Through this, every citizen will get a unique health ID that will act as a digital repository of all health-related data of an individual. Users can get the ID free of cost. The ID will enable access and exchange of health records of citizens with their consent. The HPR and the Healthcare Facilities Registries (HFR) components of the mission will be the repository of all healthcare providers, including both traditional and modern health practitioners. IDs can be created using a mobile number or the Aadhaar. In the future, registering through a PAN card or driving license would also be made possible. People can either deactivate their ID temporarily or permanently delete it.

The motto behind the integration is to build state-of-the-art digital health systems to manage the core digital health data and the infrastructure required for its seamless exchange. The objective is to establish registries at appropriate levels to generate a single source of truth with respect to clinical establishments, health workers, healthcare professionals, drugs and pharmacies. They are initiating the adoption of open standards by all national digital health stakeholders and making 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. Another objective is to promote the development of enterprise-class health application systems with a special focus on achieving Sustainable Development Goals for health. Adoption of best principles of cooperative federalism while working with the States and UTs to fulfil the scheme’s vision and ensuring that healthcare professionals & institutions in the private sector participate actively with public health authorities in building the ABDM through a combination of prescription and promotion.

Ensuring national portability in the provision of health services and promoting the use of clinical decision support (CDS) systems by health practitioners and professionals. Encourage the better management of the health sector to leverage health data analytics and medical research. Postulating the efficiency and effectiveness of governance at every level, supporting effective steps to ensure the quality of healthcare, and strengthening the existing health information systems by ensuring their compliance with the defined standards and integration with the proposed ABDM.

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