INDIA – National Health Authority (NHA), the successor of India’s National Health Agency, has unveiled a fully-fledged comprehensive health initiative dubbed Digital Health Incentive Scheme.

NHA is the apex body responsible for implementing India’s flagship public health insurance scheme called “Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana”.

It has been entrusted with the role of designing strategy, building technological infrastructure, and implementation of India’s digital health mission to create a national digital health eco-system.

In a press release, NHA said that the new scheme will accelerate digital health transactions in India under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM).

The autonomous body is providing incentives to healthcare providers and various stakeholders of the country’s digital health ecosystem who are promoting the creation of digital health records.

Up to Rs 40 million (nearly US$500,000) will be made available to 10 or more-bed health facilities, diagnostic centres, and providers of digital solutions,” NHA announced.

The Indian agency outlined that incentives under the new scheme will be provided based on the number of digital health records created and linked to the Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA).

The Indian government has set aside Rs 500 million (US$6 million) to deliver the scheme over the next six months,” the nodal agency for implementing ABDM said.

Digital Health Incentive Scheme will also complement existing incentive schemes driving the adoption of public health-related systems, such as the Unified Payments Interface for tuberculosis case notification, and Janani Suraksha Yojana, a safe motherhood intervention programme.

Speaking on the launch, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NHA Dr. Ram Sewak Sharma expressed his belief that the financial incentive scheme will encourage the adoption of digital health in India.

We believe that this scheme will encourage more and more healthcare facilities and digital software companies to come forward and join ABDM for providing patient-centric healthcare,” he stated.

Meanwhile, NHA has released an open platform connecting digital registries of health providers and facilities through unique health identities, a consent framework, and universal access to health facilities.

The beta version of a lightweight, robust, and ABDM-compliant Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) is envisioned to provide a digital platform for healthcare providers, particularly focusing on private clinics and small health facilities.

Healthcare providers can now use this new solution, share their valuable feedback, and play a role in shaping India’s digital healthcare ecosystem. Feedback from healthcare providers will be incorporated into the ABDM-enabled software to make it more robust,” NHA underscored.

HIMS will focus on ABDM compliance, facility management, digital services, and e-prescription services to help speed up the digital transformation of small clinics as well as boost the presence of healthcare providers in India.

It will allow doctors to generate and fetch ABHA for their patients, manage their calendar, appointments, and patient details in a single window as well as view previous health records and prescriptions for registered patients and take video consultations.

The beta version of the platform will allow doctors to generate and share digital standardized prescriptions using a range of parameters with options to customize the prescription layout,” NHA added.

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