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Aadhaar can help in creating national health record system

UIDAI chairman Nilekani thinks that the system could helpful because of the volume of the individual’s health history 

Aadhaar CardNew Delhi: Aadhaar card could serve as a platform for innovations in health sector by facilitating to create a national portable health record system that can help monitoring epidemics and drug efficacy, UIADI Chairman Nandan Nilekani said today.

Speaking at “Indo-US Startup Accelerator Workshop” organized by FICCI, Department of Science and Technology and the US Embassy, Nilekani said a possible innovation in the health sector is creation of digitized health records of individuals, which could be linked to Aadhaar card.

He said Aadhaar card can help in creating national portable health record system. “You may travel, somebody may have an ailment in one town and they may go to a doctor in another town, they may switch their service providers. So basically you need a way to have mobility to have electronic health information.”

“That is something we think that can be done using the Aadhaar card because you can just link your electronic health record to your ID and then keep that on the card and wherever you go you can authorize that particular party (who is building the record system) to use your health record for the purpose of medical care or diagnosis,” he said.

He said the system could be beneficial and effective because of the volume of an individual’s health history. “Healthcare reform is very difficult to do because of massive and complex system. You need to keep people’s healthcare record electronically because health records could be voluminous because you have X-Rays, MRIs and ultrasounds to be stored and you have to do digitally.”

He, however, cautioned that this system should ensure that privacy of an individual is not encroached upon. “We need to make sure that the information is private and therefore a person should have a control on his own health record and they should be deciding whether the health record should be recorded with somebody else,” he said.

Nilekani said the system can also be used to study medical trends like epidemics and drug’s efficacy. “This will also help in big data analysis in epidemics, pandemics and drug efficacy and therefore we need to analyze this big data behavior. So you need to have this health records, but with sufficient privacy constraints so that information is available for this kind of non-personal information for analysis,” he said.

He noted that there are several other sectors in which Aadhaar card could be used. He noted that so far around 48.5 crore UIADIs have been issued and by March 2014, some 60 crore UIADIs could be issued. He informed that more than 20 million ransactions have taken place using the Aadhaar card this year.


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