National Health Authority to collaborate with Google to strengthen digital presence of Ayushman Bharat

National Health Authority to work with Google to strengthen its digital presence as part of this partnership, Google will help train NHA staff as well as make relevant health content accessible to beneficiaries online

Myupchar October 07, 2019 11:53:43 IST
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National Health Authority to collaborate with Google to strengthen digital presence of Ayushman Bharat
  • NHA signed a statement of intent to collaborate with search-giant Google to strengthen the technical backbone of Ayushman Bharat

  • PM-JAY, which completed a year on 23 September, spent under Rs 7,500 crore on 46 lakh procedures in 2018-19

  • As part of this partnership, Google will help train NHA staff as well as make relevant health content accessible to beneficiaries online

On Friday the National Health Authority (NHA) signed a statement of intent to collaborate with search-giant Google. The idea is to strengthen the technical backbone of Ayushman Bharat, the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY), the government’s cashless health insurance plan for 500 million poor and vulnerable Indians.

PM-JAY, which completed a year on 23 September, spent under Rs 7,500 crore on 46 lakh procedures in 2018-19, well below the allocated budget of Rs five lakh per family for 10.74 crore families.

National Health Authority to collaborate with Google to strengthen digital presence of Ayushman Bharat

Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

As part of this partnership, Google will help train NHA staff as well as make relevant health content accessible to beneficiaries online. Google will also help to improve the efficiency of NHA’s everyday applications. It is expected that this will make all of the PM-JAY applications more user-friendly.

Speaking about the alliance with Google, NHA CEO Indu Bhushan told the media that robust technology is the mainstay of PM-JAY. It will help in the speedy identification and approval of claims, reduce the turnaround time for individual and help prevent fraud.

Technology for better health

From telemedicine to digital health records, technology has become an important ally for delivering health services. The NHA's Ayushman Bharat programme, which aims to provide universal healthcare, is also something technology giants routinely tackle.

Google accounts for more than 90 percent of all Web searches in the world. Its Internet Saathi programme to promote digital literacy among women in India has already reached 2.6 lakh villages.

Public health experts have been arguing for an Indian digital health records system. Google, with its experience in managing electronic health records equipped with a machine learning model that helps to assess patient outcomes in a variety of conditions, maybe one answer.

Digital health records keep note of the length of hospital stay, prognosis, and risk of rehospitalisation in patients. The records could be an excellent tool to reduce mortality in secondary and tertiary care units since the doctor will be able to better predict patient health. They could also help policymakers understand the biggest health challenges in India before they take on epidemic proportions.

Of course, digital records and predictive analysis are still a long way off. But for now, Google is helping NHA to offer information and services online.

Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more health articles, please visit myUpchar.com

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