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National Digital Health Blueprint: Harvard’s Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute on privacy, consent, Aadhaar and patient control over data

Send us your submission on the National Digital Health Blueprint to trisha@medianama.com * "The National Digital Health Ecosystem (NDHE) will be governed by the Personal Data Protection Bill, when passed into law," noted the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute, Harvard University in their submission (attached below) on the National Digital Health Blueprint. It anticipates challenges given the existence of several overlapping health specific laws, which determine issues around consent, privacy, and data flow, such as the the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, to the HIV/AIDS Act, 2017 and the Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Act, 1994. The submission was made the institute's India Digital Health Net. The Ministry of Health had in July invited public comments on the NDHB, the Blueprint envisions a architecture for data flow, EHR systems, and use of technology in every sphere of healthcare. The ministry held a public consultation on the Blueprint earlier this month, our report here. The institute's main points raised in the submission are summarised here: Privacy and data protection Although the data protection law requires data minimisation, "forcing minimisation may impede the wide-ranging future possibilities offered by AI and ML to influence health, habits and lifestyles." On inclusivity: The scope of inclusivity defined in the NDHB must account for biases inherent in health data and health delivery systems that go beyond terrain limitations. Moreover, initiatives like telemedicine should not be considered stand-alone technological solutions to delivery problems, but one adjunct to task-shifting and supervision, to improve care in remote…

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