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National Digital Health Blueprint

  • 16 Jul 2019
  • 6 min read

The Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare has released the National Digital Health Blueprint (NDHB) report in the public domain for inputs from various stakeholders.

  • Citizen centricity, quality of care, better access, universal health coverage, and inclusiveness are some of the key principles of a robust healthcare system.
  • All these aspirations can be realized principally by leveraging the power of the digital technologies.
  • In the context of India, with its size and diversity, this mammoth task requires that a holistic, comprehensive and interoperable digital architecture is crafted and adopted by all the stakeholders, and therefore the need of a blueprint.


  • A new entity, National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), is recommended to be established as a purely government organization with complete functional autonomy on the lines of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and Goods and Services Network GSTN.
  • The Objectives of NDHB are aligned to the Vision of National Health Policy 2017 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to the health sector. These include:
    • Establishing and managing the core digital health data and the infrastructure required for its seamless exchange.
    • Promoting the adoption of open standards by all the actors in the National Digital Health Ecosystem (NDHE), for developing several digital health systems that span across the sector from wellness to disease management.
    • Creating a system of Personal Health Records, based on international standards, and easily accessible to the citizens and to the service providers, based on citizen-consent.
    • Following the best principles of cooperative federalism while working with the States and Union Territories for the realization of the Vision.
    • Promoting Health Data Analytics and Medical Research.
    • Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of Governance at all levels.
    • Ensuring Quality of Healthcare.
    • Leveraging the Information Systems already existing in the health sector
  • While the Blueprint has identified 23 Building Blocks, a few of the critical capabilities of NDHE are:
    • Identification: The Blueprint handles the requirements of Unique identification of Persons, Facilities, Diseases and Devices through 2 Building Blocks, namely, Personal Health Identifier (PHI), and Health Master Directories & Registries.
      • This can be achieved through a combination of Aadhaar-based Identification/ Authentication and through other specified types of identifiers.
    • Citizen to be in Control: The Blueprint achieves the complex and mandatory requirements of maintaining the confidentiality, security, and privacy of health records through Consent Manager, Anonymizer and Privacy Operations Centre.
    • Service Access/ Delivery: Access and delivery to be implemented by a combination of Web (India Health Portal), Mobile (MyHealth App) and Call Centres besides Social Media Platforms.
      • The Command, Control and Communication Centre enable real-time monitoring and real-time interventions needed in the NDHE.
      • Given the significant spread of smartphones and the prospects of its further growth, The Blueprint emphasizes the ‘Mobile First’ principle for the majority of stakeholder-facing services.
    • Interoperability: The Health Information Exchange and the National Health Informatics Standards enable and promote the interoperability of various building blocks.
  • It can be noted that recently, as part of the high-level summit, the Delhi Declaration on digital health for sustainable development was adopted at the concluding session of the '4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit’.

Global Digital Health Partnership Summit

  • The ‘4th Global Digital Health Partnership Summit’ was held in February, 2019 in New Delhi
  • It was hosted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP).

Global Digital Health Partnership

  • The Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) is an international collaboration of governments, government agencies and multinational organisations dedicated to improving the health and well-being of their citizens through the best use of evidence-based digital technologies.
  • It was established in February 2018, to provide an opportunity for transformational engagement between its participants.
  • Australia was the host country for the inaugural summit in 2018.

World Health Organisation

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is concerned with international public health.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The WHO’s constitution came into force on April 7, 1948 – a date now celebrated every year as World Health Day.
  • The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body in WHO. The assembly meets annually and is attended by delegations from 194 member states.
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