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India Upgrades Digital Health Records Mobile Application

The National Health Authority (NHA), under its Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), has launched the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) mobile application, an upgraded version of the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) health records application. ABHA is available on the Google play store and has over 400,000 downloads. Existing ABHA app users can update their previous app versions to the latest one, a press release wrote.

The updated version of the ABHA app has a new user interface and added functionalities that enable individuals to access their health records at all times. Users can create an ABHA address that can be linked to a 14-digit randomly generated ABHA number. The application also allows users to link their health records created at ABDM-compliant health facilities and access them on their smartphones. Users can upload physical health records in ABDM-compliant health lockers and share digital health records (diagnostic reports, prescriptions, COVID-19 vaccination certificates) through the ABDM network.

Other features include the ability to edit profiles and link or unlink the ABHA number with the ABHA address. Soon, users will be able to log in using biometric data like face or fingerprint authentication or by scanning a QR code at the counter of an ABDM-compliant facility for express registration. The iOS version of the ABHA mobile application will be launched shortly.

According to a government official, the ABHA app will be instrumental in helping citizens create longitudinal health records. Patients can access their health records in seconds by saving their health history on a single platform. The digitisation of data exchange will ensure information security and better clinical decision-making.

Last month, in a bid to expand the country’s national digital health network, the implementing agency for ABDM, the National Health Authority (NHA), invited interested parties to share their expressions of interest (EoI) to develop digital health solutions. The government expects this collaborative approach to speed up development and help make digital public goods available to all citizens. The participants will provide the solutions as a service at no cost to public and private entities.

ABDM aims to create a seamless online platform that will enable interoperability within the digital healthcare ecosystem. The mission has been conceptualised as a set of ‘digital building blocks’. Each building block is seen as a ‘digital public good’, which can be used by any entity in the digital health ecosystem and provides key capabilities that enable the ABDM vision. ABDM is expected to not only expedite universal health coverage goals in India but also have ripple effects on the global health ecosystem.

OpenGov reported that an official said this ambition requires all hands on deck, which is why NHA invited people and organisations onto the project. ABDM has developed building blocks and interoperable APIs for a seamless digital healthcare experience for health facilities, patients, and healthcare professionals. The key building blocks of ABDM are the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA), the Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR), the Health Facility Registry (HFR), and the Health Information Exchange and Consent Manager (HIE-CM). These building blocks are designed to identify verified users and enable the exchange of health data with the patient’s consent. The digital ecosystem is now accessible to health facilities and health tech players for integration. Currently, there are over 800 participants integrated with ABDM’s registries and enabling health data exchange through the HIE-CM.

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