Digital Health ID Card Vs Privacy of Patients !

NewsDesk    06-Oct-2021
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The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to bring in a revolutionary change for the patients, doctors and Indian healthcare infrastructure with the introduction of digital health records. As part of the mission, Health ID is the first initial step to create safe and efficient digital heath records for the citizens of India. The Digital Health ID is a randomly generated 14-digit number that would serve the purpose of unique authentication, authentication, and threading of the beneficiary’s health records. One can get a health ID by self-registration on the portal or by downloading the ABMD Health Records app on one’s mobile. Additionally, one can also request the creation of a health ID at a participating health facility, which may include government or private hospitals, community health centres, and wellness centres of the government across India. Most important is the issue of privacy, the high possibility of hacking and breach of confidentiality. The possibility of privacy being violated increases with the centralisation of all information. Though it is said that the patient is the owner of the information, how many of us deny access, as a matter of routine, when we download apps or programmes that seek access to all our records? How far is this “consent” practical for an illiterate, vulnerable patient desperate to get well?