The National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) aims to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country. It will bridge the existing gap amongst different stakeholders of Healthcare ecosystem through digital highways.
I personally feel that with the formal launch of the NDHM, our PM ushered in the first step for a long journey towards digital health. Hopefully, the health outcomes of people in India will also improve through interoperability enabled digital health interventions.
The NDHM is an outcome of the National Health Policy 2017, followed by the National Digital Health Blueprint of 2019.The Union Health Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has explained nicely how “Based on the principles of health for all, inclusivity, accessibility, affordability, education, empowerment, wellness, portability, privacy and security by design, the National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) will build the backbone necessary to create an integrated digital health infrastructure.”
A Sandbox environment has been create at NDHM
This will allow one to integrate and validate the software systems by partnering with the
NHDM APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). Enrolment is invited and open to Healthcare Service Providers, Hospitals, Healthcare Software Vendors and Anyone who wants to build NDHM APIs.Health Information Providers, Health Repository Providers, Health Information Users or Health Lockers should integrate with NDHM APIs.
The Sandbox hosts the following digital building blocks that are useful for anyone who wants to create software services and products integrated with NDHM services.
- Health ID Service and APIs: For creating a Sandbox Health ID, and integrating the software with Health ID APIs.
- Consent Manager and Gateway: For registering software to test link records and process health data consent requests.
- PHR Mobile App (Android):To manage one’s Health ID, Health Records and Consents.
- Health Information User App: To create Consent requests for Health ID.
The Stepsto integrate, test and launch with the help of Sandboxare:
- Send Request
- Get Access
- Integrate your APIs
- Showcase to NHA
- Get Certification
- Go Live
For interoperability, the NDHB had recommended the EHR Standards 2016 of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, along with HL7 (Health Level 7) FHIR (Fast Health Interoperability Resources) R4 (4th Release). Hl7 India has released the FHIR India profiles for NDHM Health Data Interchange Specifications. The National Resource Centre for EHR Standards (NRCeS) at C-DAC, Pune, has released the Implementation Guides for using those profiles:
To sum up, the Sandbox framework of the NDHM will purvey a level playing field to all the developers keen to getting integrated with the National Digital Health Ecosystemof India!