Home / News / India /  NHA revises draft Health Data Management policy for data privacy

The National Health Authority (NHA) has revised the draft Health Data Management (HDM) policy with the objective to protect individuals’ personal data.

“It acts as a guidance document across the National Digital Health Ecosystem (NDHE) and sets out the minimum standard for data privacy protection that should be followed across the board in order to ensure compliance with relevant and applicable laws, rules and regulations," mentioned NHA in a statement.

The NDHE is based on the principle of federated architecture, which allows interoperability between independent and decentralized information systems, while enhancing the security and privacy of personal data of individuals. The provisions of this Policy shall be applicable to all the entities and individuals who are part of the Ayushman Bharat ecosystem.

The key objective of HDM policy is to provide adequate guidance and to set out a framework for the secure processing of personal and sensitive personal data of individuals who are a part of the NDHE in compliance with all applicable laws.

“To safeguard digital personal data within the ambit of the NDHE, including the Personal Health Identifier, the electronic health records and electronic medical records, by implementing adequate technical and organisational measures across the NDHE. To create a system of digital health records which is easily accessible to individuals and healthcare service providers and is voluntary in nature, based on the consent of individuals, and in compliance with relevant standards," it stated.

HDM policy also aims to increase awareness of the importance of data privacy and instill a privacy-oriented mindset among the members of ABDM and its ecosystem partners. To ensure portability in the provision of health services.

This will also work to leverage the information systems existing in the Indian health sector by encouraging conformity with the defined data privacy standards and integrating such existing systems with NDHE.

ABDM, (earlier called the National Digital Health Mission), is the Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. It aims to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country.

It was launched on 15 August 2020 as a pilot in six Union Territories – Andaman & Nicobar, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, Ladakh, Lakshadweep and Puducherry.

Last year in September, the national rollout of the ABDM was announced. Four components of the Mission are Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts (ABHA) (earlier known as Health ID), Health Professional Registry (HPR), Health Facility Registry (HFR) and ABHA App (PHR).

Priyanka Sharma
Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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