Home / News / India /  Only 240 million sign up for health ID

NEW DELHI : Despite the government aiming to get every citizen to enrol for a digital health ID, only around a fifth of Indians have bothered to do so.

Ayushman Bharat Health Account ID or ABHA card, which will digitally preserve all personal health records, has had only 240 million takers so far. This is due to concerns over data privacy on account of data breaches, according to an official.

The National Health Authority (NHA) is now working to remove personal identification information before using the health data for public health research, policy making and disease surveillance among others. ABHA Health ID enables individual to access their digital health records and is expected to help healthcare providers offer better treatment. “Data privacy has emerged as a concern particularly in the healthcare sector. The digitization of health records has led to an increased risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks," said the official.

“Hence, the digital health ecosystem conceived under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) gives highest priority to the protection of personal health records. We are working to use anonymization techniques to remove personal identifying information before using the health data for public health research, policy making, disease surveillance etc. Anonymization of data will ensure that the privacy of the individual is protected."

The problem was discussed by a team of experts in Arogya Manthan event held last week to make one year of the mission. According to the official, the responsibility of ensuring privacy also lies with healthcare providers.

Queries sent to health ministry spokesperson did not elicit a response.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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