What’s the news: Mizoram’s capital Aizawl becomes the first city to get a microsite under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), said a press release from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on August 24, 2023.
What is a microsite? It is a focused geographical region comprising all small-medium private facilities like clinics, hospitals, labs, etc. in the region. The goal of these sites is to include local health facilities in the ABDM ecosystem and digitise the healthcare providers for clinical documentation. Earlier, the National Health Authority (NHA) had announced 100 Microsites project for accelerated adoption of ABDM across India.
“These Microsites would be majorly implemented by State Mission Directors of ABDM while the financial resources and overall guidance would be provided by NHA,” said the press release.
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Further, more microsites are expected to be operational in the next few weeks in regions like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
Why it matters: Among the many points on the list of agenda, these microsites hope to encourage more patients to link their health records created in these facilities to their Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts (ABHAs) and connect it to an ABDM- enabled Personal Health Record. This creates micro pools of very sensitive health data. The government is yet to explain what safeguards it will be implementing to protect such sensitive and focused datasets. Moreover, the new Data Protection Act states that people’s data can now be used by entities for certain legitimate uses including in case of medical emergencies. This means that even if a user’s personal medical activities even at the local-level will be accessible to the government without the user’s knowledge.
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