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Making the Future Smarter: Digital Health Card Makes Life Simple

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From watching our favorite web series, films, and other TV shows whenever and wherever we want, to ordering food, booking flight tickets, and buying clothes and groceries with the convenience of a few clicks, Physical distance is.

Today, digital transactions are very helpful, even in emergency situations. For example, during the pandemic, people were not able to step out of their houses, but they still got their groceries delivered.

Demonetization marked an important event in the history of India’s Digital Payments; it was just a part of the government’s long-term plan to make India a truly digital economy. The JAM (Jan Dhan – Aadhaar – Mobile Phones) trinity, as Harvard Business Review called it, played a major role in the evolution of digital payments in the country. After all these, we can come to the conclusion that it is evident that consumers are getting benefited from the digital wave. Digitization has positively impacted all industries, be it finance, medical, education, technology, or any other market segment. It offered a holistic experience to consumers by making different processes simpler, time-saving, effortless, and accurate. Consequently, consumers are also proactively adopting digitization to streamline their regular chores as much as possible.

Digitization revolutionized the way we transact and the way we do business. The healthcare market is not so far from being far behind in embracing technology and digitized healthcare. In an effort to digitize the healthcare system in the country, the Central Government has launched the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) or National Digital Health Mission (NDHM).

The aim of the mission is to issue digital health ID cards for all citizens in the country and to help hospitals, insurance providers, and health ID cardholders access health records online in a secure and safe environment.

What is a Digital Health ID Card?
The digital health ID card is a digital identification card having identifying data (such as health records) about the cardholder. The health ID card is utilized for a hassle-free procedure to digitally access and share the cardholder’s health records. The digital health ID is a randomly generated, unique 14-digit number utilized for identifying individuals, verifying them, and accessing their health records (only with their consent) across different healthcare stakeholders and systems. According to the National Health Authority, Aadhaar does not allow any user data, including biometrics, to be accessed in such a manner unless a person has specifically given either the Aadhaar number or a virtual Aadhaar number.

Why should a citizen have a digital health ID card?
The digital health ID card helps to manage medical records digitally and securely. Compared to physical or traditional medical documents, digital health cards store medical records in a secure and safe environment.

The NHA is also looking at digitizing paper records stored in various hospitals and clinics to ensure that all the stored data gets integrated into NDHM in digital format. When the users become part of the ecosystem, their data will be brought together. Some of this may also happen at common service centers

Who can apply for the Digital Health ID cards?
People interested in creating a digital health ID and wishing to have their medical records available electronically can create a digital ID card.

What kinds of data will be linked to the digital Health ID Cards?
The digital health ID comes with a health locker that can store health records in the cloud with the ownership lies with the individual. Suppose an ID is generated at a health facility or during the enrollment of a person in a government health program. In that case, the data from that program will be available for the user. Besides, as more data gets generated and more and more hospitals and doctors come under the NDHM umbrella, the data stored in their servers for the individual will also get integrated, thus generating longitudinal health records.

There will also be the option of the individual uploading old paper records into the digital format for posterity. The NHA is also looking at digitizing paper records stored in various hospitals and clinics to ensure that all the stored data gets integrated into NDHM in digital format. When the users become part of the ecosystem, their data will be brought together. Some of this may also happen at common service centers.

How to Apply for a Digital Health ID Card Online?
Citizens can register for the Digital Health ID cards through the Health ID website, NDHM Health Records mobile app, and participating health facilities (public/private hospitals, health and wellness centers, and community health centers).

Here are a few steps to generating digital health ID cards online:
•Firstly, applicants must visit the NDHM official website (https://healthid.ndhm.gov.in/) and select Generate ID option.
•You can Select Generate via Aadhaar, enter your Aadhaar number on the new page, and then click on submit.
•Once you click the submit button, an OTP will be sent to your registered mobile number. You have to enter the required field.
•You must fill in your personal information and choose a username and password to create your digital ID.
•You can now log into the account with the newly created username and password and provide your address.
•You can download digital health ID cards for future reference.

Can Digital Health Cards be Physically Generated?
Yes. The digital health Id cards can be generated physically in the health facility. Once the government starts to roll it out, it will be available in all the cities, but currently, it is available in the six UTs. The NDHM strategy document requires all government health programs to be integrated into the NDHM ecosystem. Once that happens, when a person enrolls in any of these programs, the generated ID will automatically be the digital health ID.

Benefits of digital health ID card
•Digital health records: People can access health records that have tracks from admission to treatment and discharge. This will be done online.
•Personal Health Records (PHR): There is an option to link the PHR with the digital health ID to generate long-term health history.
•Access to Digi Doctors: with the sacred environment, the health ID enables access to verified Digi Doctors.
•Secure and private: The digital platform is developed with strong security and encryption mechanisms. Cardholders' consent is required every time your PHR is being accessed.
•Consent-based access: Your health data will be shared with relevant participants only with your consent. There is also an option to manage and revoke consent.
•Easy signup process: Citizens can create a health ID card using only their basic details and their Aadhaar or mobile number.
•Voluntary opt-in and opt-out: Applying for a health ID card is not compulsory. Also, people can opt out and request to erase their data anytime.

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