Cen­tral­is­ing health

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

could change the way the health data of In­di­ans is stored and shared, the NITI Aayog has pro­posed a Na­tional Health Stack (NHS)—a cen­tralised health iden­tity for all cit­i­zens. The aim is "to stream­line the health in­for­ma­tion and fa­cil­i­tate its ef­fec­tive man­age­ment", the Aayog said while re­leas­ing a con­sul­ta­tion paper. The Health IDs cre­ated will be "linked to a strong foun­da­tional ID" such as Aad­haar, ac­cord­ing to the paper. The NHS would store per­sonal health records and ser­vice provider records on cloud-based ser­vices us­ing the in­ter­net, and will em­ploy tech­nol­ogy like big data an­a­lyt­ics, ma­chine learn­ing, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and a state-of-the-art pol­icy markup lan­guage. This sen­si­tive health data, the paper says, will be stored in a "se­cure and pri­vate en­vi­ron­ment, with the in­di­vid­ual de­ter­min­ing rights of ac­cess". With the de­bate over Aad­haar re­fus­ing to die down, cre­ation of NHS raises fur­ther ques­tions on data pri­vacy.

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