Digital Health is the convergence of Digital and Genomic Revolutions with health, healthcare, living, and society. Digital Health is aimed to empower us in the management and improvement of our quality of living. It helps us track the health of our family, increase the productiveness of our lives and improve society as a whole. Digital health has been adopted to reduce inefficiencies in healthcare delivery, often reducing costs and making medicine precise and more personalised.
The 21st century revolution of Digital Health is due to the wide range of benefits it offers to the Health and Wellness sector of our society. Some of them include accuracy and convenience of patients to receive medical correspondence, confidence and collaboration among experts, treatment in emergency situations, proper management of chronic diseases and granting access to rural and remote communities.
In his address at the 71st World Health Assembly at Geneva, Health and Family Welfare Minister JP Nadda said that the World Health Organisation will adopt the digital health initiative by India as it’s first resolution on digital health. The World Health Assembly is the decision making body of the World Health Organisation and is attended by delegates from all WHO member states.
The digital health technology supports the Universal Health Coverage, making the health services affordable, accessible, and improving it’s quality. This strategy is deemed to be potent in achieving WHO’s objectives. The Universal Health Coverage is a health care system that provides health care and financial protection to all citizens of a particular country.
Nadda also stated that India is committed to achieving UHC as a social equaliser post the success in sustaining polio free status and substantial achievement of the MDGs.
To achieve the four tenets of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) such as
India has fast tracked many initiatives to underline the commitment to “Leave No one behind.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched an ambitious programme called ‘Ayushman Bharat’ that literally translates to ‘Long Live India’ to attain the vision oh UHC. The Prime Ministers’ National Health Protection Mission (NHPM) and comprehensive healthcare are the twin pillars on which the programme rests. The aim of the programme is to provide secondary and tertiary healthcare to 100 million families covering 500 million individuals. It also aims to provide about 40% of the country’s population an insurance cover of 500,000 INR per year.
India’s commitment to end tuberculosis by 2025, five years ahead of WHO’s deadline has encouraged India to play a pivotal role to ensure accessibility and affordability of medicines as Mr Nadda also mentioned.
Having laid the foundations of a digital health strategy earlier at the first World Conference on Access to Medical Products in November 2017, India is all set to arrange the second World Conference in October 2018 and join the other states in incorporating Digital Health into the general welfare of her citizens.