Covid-pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on health systems across countries. Both public and private healthcare sectors had struggled and are still struggling to respond to the impact of the pandemic. The struggle is to adopt diverse healthcare responses in terms of cutting-edge technological tools and innovations in the areas of public health, medicine and wellness to take prompt decisions to address the after-effect of the pandemic. In such scenario, digital health has emerged as a solution for healthcare challenges. It encompasses areas like wearable technology, telehealth and telemedicine, mobile health, health information technology, and personalized medicine. However, revisiting and reopening the realm of ‘digital health’ in the policy and public discourse is an emerging concern. As the healthcare world becomes increasingly digitized, care and service providers rely more on data to drive their decision-making. This has made data governance in healthcare a growing interest as health information becomes an essential tool for diagnosis, treatment planning and after-care.
Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact
Prioritizing Digital Health: Key Focus Areas
Digital health has evolved rapidly since its inception. In India, healthcare data governance is relatively a new concept in comparison to the west. The Ministry of Health and other public agencies are working hard in developing policies and regulations to ensure the safe and secure use of healthcare data. The digital health concerns under India’s G20 priorities focus on a safe and secure digital ecosystem to manage the handling, storing and sharing of real-time patient data 24x7 across hospitals and healthcare institutions to the next level with clearly defined policies and procedures. The NDHM (National Digital Health Mission) aims to create a national digital health ecosystem, which includes a personal health ID for every citizen, a digital repository of health records, and a federated health data architecture to enable secure sharing of data among different stakeholders.
The pandemic has taught both the developed and developing economies across the globe that we live in an interdependent world. The existing challenges in health systems are to explore the potential of the enormous amount of personal patient data available with various health agencies. Their collection, storage, analysis and security will help a populous country like India to focus on long-term measures to build a resilient health governance system to prevent, prepare and respond to future health-related challenges along with maintaining essential health services. India’s prioritisation of digital health under its G20 presidency is pressing the use of cutting-edge digital tools for healthcare with a more specialized and efficient oversight system to spot irregularities and opportunities in real-time fitting well within the data governance plan. This requires efficient and intentional movement of data throughout a healthcare system.
India's G20 Presidency
Government of Inda
Health Track Working Group
Ministry of Health
India's G20 presidency provides an opportunity to promote their adoption on a global scale. With effective policies, procedures, and technology, healthcare data can be used to improve patient outcomes and drive innovation in healthcare. The policy and response concern is to look into the cost, security and data privacy issues related to cloud-based health governance systems (Shelton, 2019). The priorities under health for India under the G20 presidency are very much concerned to develop a broad public policy consensus to increase focus on artificial intelligence, robotics, big data tools and analytics to cement and strengthen India’s new digital health governance system.