National Health Portal In Transforming Health Sector

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NATIONAL HEALTH PORTAL IN TRANSFORMING HEALTH SECTOR

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) had set up National Health Portal (NHP) in pursuance to the decisions of the National Knowledge Commission (NKC), to provide healthcare related information to the citizens across the country. The objective of setting up of National Health Portal is to serve as a single point of access for consolidated authentic health information, application and resources with the aim to cater to a wide spectrum of users such as academicians, citizens, students, healthcare professionals, researchers etc. The mission of National Health Portal is also to achieve the above vision by collecting, verifying and disseminating information on health literacy and healthcare delivery services related information for all citizens of India.

Keeping in mind the above vision, the Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) was established by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as a Secretariat for managing the activities of the National Health Portal (NHP) at National Institute of Health & Family Welfare (NIHFW), New Delhi. The CHI is the nucleus of all activities for developing, designing and maintaining the National Health Portal. The CHI is for roll out of a federated nationwide Health IT system to support seamless transfer of data across the health applications all healthcare provider-public (Centre or States) and private.

National Health Portal

National Health Portal (http://www.nhp.gov.in) was formally launched on 14th November 2014 with a aim to provide as a single point access for authenticated health information for citizens across the country.  The Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) of NHP has undertaken various activities for transformation of Health Sector with help of various IT initiatives for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare system. The CHI is progressively planning several new initiatives to be implemented in the near future for promotion of healthcare system across the country.

Brief summary of various activities of the Centre for Health Informatics of National Health Portal showing achievements and initiatives since it’s inception are furnished in the following pages.

National Health Portal – Voice Web

National Health Portal (NHP) launched the Voice Web service as a part of the Digitalization of Health sector. Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare launched the NHP voice-based web portal for 24X7 toll-free health services.

This voice portal has been developed for providing health related information and to address queries related to various issues related to health, diseases, lifestyle, first aid, directory services, health programs, policies, laws and guidelines. This 24X7 toll free helpline helps users get authentic health information on a phone call. Users need to dial a toll free helpline number 1800-180-1104 and speak about the information that they are seeking-e.g. name of the disease, national health programme or any other information related to health. This advanced system is capable of recognizing user voice input. Presently, the voice web service is available in Hindi, English, Bengali, Tamil and Gujarati and more Indian languages would be covered in future.

The intent of using telephone technology as a medium to disseminate information is to reach out to masses in remote locations, where there is no Internet access thus, overcoming the barrier of illiteracy. NHP Voice Web allow users to interact in their preferred language for getting the requisite and authentic information.

National Identification Number-to- Health Facilities of India

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) on 27th January 2016 had initiated a process for generating National Identification Number-to-Health Facilities of India (NIN-to-HFI). NIN will be a random and a unique 10 digit number which will be assigned to all health facilities existing within India, in order to identify and tag their accurate location along with geographical attributes like state, district, taluka, village codes based on MDDS (Meta Data & Data Standards).

The Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) has been appointed as a Nodal Agency for implementing NIN-to-HFI in India. The Centre for Health Informatics at National Institute of Health & Family Welfare (NIHFW), New Delhi has developed a web application (available at http://nin.nhp.gov.in) to generate NIN-to-HFI. This portal is developed to confirm and verify the existence of the facility and its attributes. Once base data is verified, NIN will be permanent for that Health Facility. End-users (District Officer & State Nodal Officer for NIN) will need to login and confirm the existence of health facility in their state.

Once base data of a health facility is confirmed and verified, NIN will be assigned to that health facility. It has10 digit unique number per Health Facility and in future all the health applications will be designed to use NIN in their databases in order to ensure inter-operability of medical data among applications residing in different health facilities.

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan

The Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) has been launched by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India. The programme aims to provide assured, comprehensive and quality antenatal care, free of cost, universally to all pregnant women on the 9th  of every month.

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) is full-fledged National programme specifically for free antenatal care to pregnant women across the country in order to detect and prevent high risk pregnancies. The Centre for Health Informatics of NHP has developed PMSMA Portal, Dashboard and created PMSMA Helpdesks for supporting the programme which has been implemented in the country by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

The programme follows a systematic approach for engagement with private sector which includes motivating private practitioners to volunteer for the campaign; developing strategies for generating awareness and appealing to the private sector to participate in the Abhiyan at government health facilities.

eBloodbanking :  eBloodbanking is an initiative of NACO and NHP. It is an online system designed to provide information related to current/updated stock of blood availability, list of blood banks, building donor network and other information & articles connected to blood.

Mobile Applications

NHP Indradhanush : This application provides detailed information about vaccines availability in India and  schedule for immunization.

NHP Swasth Bharat : The application provides detailed information regarding healthy lifestyle, disease conditions (A-Z), symptoms, treatment options, first aid and public health alerts. MoHFW through its e-governance initiatives is launching a mobile application “NHP Swasth Bharat” to empower the citizens to find reliable and relevant health information. The application provides detailed information regarding healthy lifestyle, disease conditions (A-Z), symptoms, treatment options, first aid and public health alerts.

The access to authenticate health information is the primary right of the citizen. Providing authentic Health information to the society is arguably one of the most important factors in improving health outcomes. Inadequate or poor health information can increase the risk of hospitalization or even disease burden. MoHFW through its egovernance initiatives is launching a mobile application “Swasth Bharat Mobile Application” to empower the citizens to find reliable and relevant health information. The application provides detailed information regarding healthy lifestyle, disease conditions (A-Z), symptoms, treatment options, first aid and public health alerts.

The objective of setting
up of National Health
Portal is to serve as a
single point of access for
consolidated authentic
health information,
application and resources
with the aim to cater to
a wide spectrum of users
such as academicians,
citizens, students,
healthcare professionals,
researchers etc. The
mission of National
Health Portal is also to
achieve the above vision
by collecting, verifying
and disseminating
information on health
literacy and healthcare
delivery services related
information for all
citizens of India.

The application “Swasth Bharat Mobile Application” is an Android based mobile application, which can be installed on any device with Android OS version 2.3 or above. The application will be launched soon for other popular platforms.

India Fights Dengue : This application provides the community with dengue information, symptoms and how to manage and prevent the  Dengue.

Mera Aspataal App : This application empowers the patients by seeking their views on quality of  services they  received from both public and empanelled private health facilities.

NHP Directory Services Mobile App: NHP Health Directory Service was launched during the celebration of World Blood Donor Day on 14th June 2015. User friendly mobile app to locate hospitals and blood banks.  Available on Google play store.

No More Tension Mobile App : This App provides details about Stress, its causes, indicators and Stress management techniques.

Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA): PMSMA is full-fledged National programme specifically for free antenatal care to pregnant women across the country in order to detect and prevent high risk pregnancies. CHI of NHP has developed PMSMA Mobile Application, Portal, Dashboard  and created PMSMA Helpdesks for supporting the programme which has been implemented in the country by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

mHealth Initiatives

mCessation Tobacco : This mobile application aims to reach out to tobacco users of different categories who want to quit tobacco use and support them towards successful quitting. The facility can be availed by giving a missed call to 011-22901701. Tobacco kills almost one million persons in India every year. Tobacco is also a major risk factor for cancer, CVDs, chronic lung diseases & stroke. There is huge demand for quitting tobacco use among the users as per Global Adult Tobacco Survey.

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, in partnership with World Health Organisation and the International Telecommunications Union, has started an initiative for utilising mobile technology for tobacco cessation. WHO-ITU’s ‘Be Healthy Be Mobile’ initiative, aims to reach out to tobacco users of all categories who want to quit tobacco use and support them towards successful quitting through constant text messaging on mobile phones. Aims to reach out to tobacco users of all categories who want to quit tobacco use and support them towards successful quitting through constant text messaging. The SMS are in English and Hindi.

mCessation Initiative also have a dedicated page on NHP for displaying information, pictures and videos. This page provides informative material related to ill-effects of Tobacco use. The page allows user to register through NHP mCessation Page.

mDiabetes  : This application is for generating awareness about Diabetes,  providing information healthy diets, healthy lifestyle, necessary exercise and better adherence to drug or dietary need and self-care.

mAgeing : Under this application,  user will receive health promotion SMSes related to elderly and also provide information on medical conditions such as Hypertension, Cancer, Osteoporosis, Dementia which occur after certain age.

Health Information Kiosk

Kiosks are being installed for  providing  quality health related information to all the citizens through the touch screen based Health Information kiosks. Kiosk would enable access to health materials and MoHFW initiatives. These kiosks are self-contained information system that can be placed across strategic location like railway stations, metro stations, airports and Hospitals.

NHP – Voice Broadcasting OBD

Out Bound Dialing(OBD) is an automated system, where a PRI line from an operator is used to send out pre-recorded promotional voice message. OBD activity report comes in excel format with details of call made and connect. In case of client data the mobile numbers are mentioned in the report with connectivity details.

The empanelled media and marketing agency provided data and summary report of activity. The CD contains the complete list of mobile numbers which have been targeted during the course of OBD activity. From the data given following important information can be summarized:-

Social Media

Twitter / Facebook / YouTube  : National Health Portal is running Social Media publicity by engaging a professional Social Media Management Agency for dissemination of information on Healthcare, health services and various initiatives on Health  through Twitter and  Facebook. NHP Social Media has received tremendous response globally. The numbers of followers are increasing day by day and the post count has reached in lakhs. Through Social Media handle of  NHP is successfully spreading health awareness as well as authentic health information for improving health literacy across the country.

Multimedia Digital Campaign

The Centre for Health Informatics has rolled out Multimedia digital campaign on National Health Portal to reach and drive traction across different genre and provide health related authentic information to the citizens across the country.  CHI of NHP has appointed professional Multimedia Agency with a view to create a media marketing vision for NHP as the sole platform for providing authentic Health information which can enable to interact with over 60 crore of people across the country by the end of 2018.

As of now, the Digital marketing is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly Internet, which includes mobile phone and other digital medium.  The digital marketing campaigns are becoming more prevalent as digital platforms are increasingly incorporated into the marketing plans. It may be mentioned that number of Mobile subscribers in India by the end of May 2016 has crossed 1030.00 million.  Currently, in India, about 65% of mobile subscribers have smart handsets which contained various apps and Internet usage. Websites, Mobile App like – SMS, Wappush & Out Bound Dialing (OBD) are very popular instruments operated through smart handsets by all section people across the country.

NHP – Voice Broadcasting OBD

Out Bound Dialing(OBD) is an automated system NHP voice broadcasting campaign, where a PRI line from an operator is used to send out pre-recorded promotional voice message relating healthcare system. NHP is regularly making campaign through OBD for improving health literacy of the citizen.   OBD activity report comes in excel format with details of call made and connect. In case of client data the mobile numbers are mentioned in the report with connectivity details. The empanelled multimedia digital agency provides data and summary report of activity.

New Initiatives :

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) has initiated the process to launch Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) to integrate all the Hospital Information Systems (HIS)/ Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems currently functional in various states.

The objective of IHIP is to keep the medical records of the patient in digital form which could be accessed by the patient as well as service providers as and when required. IHIP will help exchange of clinical data among providers irrespective of the hospital site visited by the patients. The Ministry has set up the Centre for Health Informatics for nationwide implementation of IHIP, which is going to be registered as an autonomous organization under MoHFW for managing all the other eHealth related activities across India.

For the first level of implementation of IHIP, 10 states were selected. The CHI has been mandated for national level rollout of IHIP across India.  This platform will be linked with Government as well as private healthcare providers across India.

Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) project implementation has been proposed by the Centre for Health Informatics (CHI), National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) in accordance with the comprehensive adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Indian healthcare under the central scheme of Health Mission Mode Project (MMP)-aligned with Digital India Programme and e-Kranti (NeGP 2.0). The pan-India implementation of IHIP is envisaged to achieve interoperability via Health Information Exchange (HIE) network and seamless exchange of electronic health records (EHR’s)/health information stored in silos amongst all healthcare facilities/institutions and health IT systems across India.

IHIP would primarily adopt a model of ‘Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)’ i.e. avoiding the usage of capital expenditure in infrastructure for networking, data center servers etc. IHIP would have architecture of cloud computing environment at the backend. Open source solutions offered by third parties (both public and private vendors)and in compliance with EHR Standards, would be hosted on IHIP after due process of evaluation by CHI.

National Digital Health Authority

The National Digital Health Authority is being set up by MoHFW to facilitate smooth adoption of eHealth in India.  The MoHFW has already recommended the standards for EHR and is also in the process of drafting the bill for Digital Health Security and Privacy.

MoHFW through its
egovernance initiatives
is launching a mobile
application “Swasth
Bharat Mobile
Application” to empower
the citizens to find reliable
and relevant health
information. The
application provides
detailed information
regarding healthy lifestyle,
disease conditions (A-Z),
symptoms, treatment
options, first aid and
public health alerts.
The application
“Swasth Bharat Mobile
Application” is an
Android based mobile
application, which can
be installed on any
device with Android OS
version 2.3 or above.
The application will be
launched soon for other
popular platforms.

The components for e-Healthcare outlined under Digital India programme are: i) Online medical consultation, ii) Online medical records, iii) Online medicine supply and iv) Pan-India Exchange for patient information.  The CHI will work as a linkage for Health Information Exchange (HIE) where Healthcare providers, Health planners, the Government and other Health related sectors can use of electronic health information relating to all the components in the healthcare systems in accordance with applicable law. Introduction of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) system is important part of CHI activity. In the present context EHRs have become a very important and integral part of Digital Healthcare system.  EHRs can improve efficiency, patient care and help decision making of Health service providers. In order to achieve  and provide continuity of better healthcare an organization is urgently needed under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to manage  the HIE related activities and to work as liaison between the Public and Private Healthcare providers.

National Health Helpline – Doctor-on-Call (DoC) :

National Health Helpline – Doctor-on-Call (DoC) project is being initiated by the Centre for Health Informatics as per direction of Ministry of Health and Family Welfre for providing free consultation to a person with a doctor via a phone and help to deliver medical service at every door step. This will be reliable and quick consultation to even the most inaccessible of the places. National level helpline 1800-180-1104 has been created to begin with this as one of the major goals.

Doctor-on-Call project is very complex in nature and it requires a dedicated management team with experience in similar type of activities in India (especially in Govt. Sector). Training of doctors and paramedics are the most important part of the project. A  Knowledge Partner  with Centre for Health Informatics (CHI) has been appointed for rolling out National Health Helpline- Doctor on Call  project.

In the phase – I of this project, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare/CHI have planned to set up D.O.C (Doctor-on-call) 1800-180-1104 HELPLINE NUMBER which will run 24*365 to provide health related information in Hindi, English and other regional languages across the country.

Phase -1 will also include a self-service portal for the citizens which will have standardized algorithmand ‘Doctor on Text’ service on TWO PLATFORMS – NHP and Mobile APP to citizens to put up their medical queries which will be responded to in a time bound manner.

This initiative focuses on harnessing the high number of mobile phones currently being used by almost every household in the India to create a tool to get free consultation by a qualified doctor on the phone. Also making this information available in the regional language increases the penetration and relevance. Focus will also be on giving scientific prescription based on standardized and uniform code that too all for free to the citizens. This would be path breaking
and will reduce the expenditure being incurred today on health and hence could lead to a healthier India especially for the rural poor.

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