Pandemic has pushed the digital transformation initiatives for many enterprises businesses and governments. The impact of digitization can be seen in the majority of new announcements by Ops and CXOs and leaders from leading businesses and governing leaders from democratic countries.
On similar lines, the Indian government announced the digital health ID facility to be provided for citizens in India. Launched under the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) which is an initiative of the Indian National Health Authority, Digital Health IDs can be created to link the health records of individuals and will be stored on the cloud with strict access control given, and ownership given to individuals. The purpose of the health IDs is to identify the ID holder, authenticate him and provide all the health records associated with him/her only after his approval. NDHM is playing an integral role to facilitate the development of the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country enabled with health IDs.
Health ID is integral to NDHM and works as Identify Provider to connect other modules Like Personal Health Records (PHR), Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Health Information Provider (HIP), Health Information User (HIU), and Health Repository Provider (HRP). Due to the large landscape of building blocks required by NDHM, this opens up many requirements around cloud/IT infrastructure and software systems as these will be leveraged by NDHM to build and manage digital health systems. The key adopters of health IDs will be hospitals, clinics, laboratories, wellness centers, pharmacies, health insurance companies, diagnostics centers, etc. There will be a competitive environment to quickly adopt and deploy the required technology to support health ID-based medical records of patients. Apparently, these will require building the dedicated IT infrastructure and software systems to leverage the health ID database hold by NDHM. Currently, NDHM has developed an eco-system to integrate with Hospital and Lab software such as EMR, HIMS, LIMS, Telemedicine, among others through the NDHM APIs.
From a technology standpoint, let’s understand the requirements
- Security and privacy of sensitive health information: The digital health ID systems will manage the sensitive health information of many individuals. The overall solution contains external user-facing web and mobile applications that are prone to a security breaches. Any leakage of information will cause major issues for governments. Considering this, digital health systems need to be built with all security measures to protect the data from compromises.
- Software systems: Every organization that will be part of health ID systems will require to have NDHM compliant software systems and the capability to store Personal Health Records (PHR), Electronic medical records (EMR), etc for a long duration. Software solutions need to build considering the amount of data stored on local and cloud infrastructure that will enable operators to quickly exchange information.
- Integration: The software systems build for adopters need to be integrated with NDHM Consent Manager Registry through secure APIs.
- Issue Health IDs and PHR Addresses: Software systems to create and verify health IDs of new patients. Also, the hospital will need to create a customised PHR addresses like @yourhospital and map to 14-digit health IDs. So, 14-digit health ID will remain as it is with central databases and hospitals can offer customized PHR address for their internal use.
- Storage systems: Important part of IT infrastructure in digital health services will be having a storage capability that will process data quickly, allows encryption, and will be easily manageable. Data storage requirements will be different for different health ID adaptor organizations.
- Front-end & back-end development: Health Information User (HIU) is an entity that would like to access the health records of individuals. This includes hospitals/doctors who would like to view the medical history of patients, mobile applications that want to display health data to users including PHR applications, etc. There will be a need to provide Front-end UI software applications that will interact with storage systems using back-end systems and quickly retrieve or push the data around health IDs. It can be also any mobile application, or a web application hosted on the public cloud. Security testing is crucial for such end-user facing applications.
ParserLabs team has already done technical research and analysis of the future impact and build ready-to-go software solutions and architecture that can help any organizations to kick start its journey to adopt health ID. ParserLabs team can be a technology provider who will act as Health Repository Provider (HRP) who will help organizations in every step in enabling NDHM compliant health ID supporting IT systems.