Addressing the first ever Global Digital Health Summit, Expo & Innovation Awards at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India will become a digital health leader, as we have the world’s best technical manpower required and our data is the cheapest in the world, approaching 100 percent coverage. The Minister said, the recent launch of 5G will bring a new revolution in the Digital Health care system in India.
Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that the whole world recognised India’s leadership role during COVID-19, as it achieved the rare feat of delivering over 220 crore vaccinations through a fully digital platform – COWIN and the process continues.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that in July, 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the CoWin Global Conclave offered CoWIN platform as a digital public good to the world to combat COVID19.
Dr Jitendra Singh informed that when COVID-19 hit us, India notified the telemedicine practice guidelines in March 2020, and we did the same for AYUSH in April 2020. He said, India could notify these guidelines as our groundwork was done and we were ready. The Minister said, we must work together to ensure ‘Digital Health for All’, which is a pre-condition to achieve ‘Health for All’.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, India has a dedicated mission mode program for Digital Health -The Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, which has delivered nearly 220 million electronic health records. Ayushman Bharat Yojna provides free treatment of upto five lakh rupees in the best of hospitals to eligible beneficiaries. He also informed that as on October 15, 2022, while e-Sanjeevani tele consultations are 6.72 million., eSanjeevani HWC (Provider-to-Provider) is at about 5.84 million and eSanjeevani OPD (Patient-to-Doctor) numbers stand at 0.9 million.
Referring to Prime Minister’s revolutionary announcement of the “National Digital Health Mission” from the ramparts of the Red Fort on 15th August, 2020, Dr Jitendra Singh said, technology will be used prudently to reduce the challenges in treatment. He quoted Modi as saying, “Every Indian will be given a Health ID. This Health ID will work like a Health Account of every Indian. This account will contain your details of every test, every disease, the doctors you visited, the medicines you took and the diagnosis. We are devising a system which will help each and every citizen to make a better and informed decision”.
Dwelling on the pandemic challenges, Dr Jitendra Singh said, COVID-19 has pushed for the worldwide adoption of technology in health on a large scale. He said, during the pandemic, the world had come to a standstill, and since the doctors could not meet the patients, all were compelled to adopt technology to connect.
Dr Jitendra Singh informed that way back in 2016, MoHFW had proposed the digital health resolution at the WHO, and this was the first-ever resolution tabled at the WHO for digital health and, India, had set out eyes to become a world leader in Digital Health. He also pointed out that the National Health Policy in 2017 talked about the ecosystem approach to digital health and it had proposed Telemedicine services to be an integral part of the proposed Health and wellness centres, much before the onset of pandemic.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, it was the far-sightedness of Prime Minister Modi that soon after coming to power in 2014, he shared the powerful vision of ‘Digital India’ much before COVID-19 hit the world.
Dr Jitendra Singh concluded that India has become the world’s most advanced healthcare system, with the latest technology tools deployed, across care delivery. He said, everyone working in healthcare needs to adopt digitalization across healthcare. Clinicians and professionals working in pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, hospitals, and insurance will have to plan their forays for digitalization on a fast pace basis, the Minister opined.
This summit is in partnership with global bodies working in Digital Health and co-hosted by the Internet Governance Forum, United Nations. Over 1500 delegates from 35 countries are participating in this summit.