All healthcare facilities should have to comply with the draft Health Data Retention Policy (HDRP), the Internet Freedom Foundation (IFF), a digital rights group, submitted in its comments on the National Health Authority's (NHA) HDRP on January 6. The HDRP could have implications not just on the NHA's Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission - which proposes a nation-wide federated digital health architecture - but also the Indian health sector at large, with provisions for retention of health data, different types of classification for the retained data, and more. Read: MediaNama's summary of Draft Health Data Retention Policy Which organisations should come under the HDRP? 1. NHA: One of the key questions that NHA asked was whether the policy should apply only to entities opting into the ABDM or all entities in the healthcare sector in India, including those who opt-out of ABDM. IFF's suggestion: It should apply to all healthcare entities, including those not in the ABDM. "As the pace of digitisation proceeds in modern India, it is likely that the healthcare sector too will increasingly ‘go digital’," IFF said. The policy would ensure that there are adequate safeguards on user consent, privacy, and a plan for digitising medical institutions at scale, IFF added while citing the growing trend of telemedicine and e-consultations in India. What will be the impact of opting out of the ABDM? 2. NHA: In the scenario of an opt-out, what could be the possible impact on the Health Data Retention Policy? IFF's suggestion: "Allowing healthcare facilities to…
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