Govt, AWS working on Health IDs, will maintain digital health records- QHN

Your complete patient record could soon be stored in one platform, thanks to an ambitious plan involving Amazon’s Cloud computing unit and the central government.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has earlier provided the Cloud infrastructure of major India Stack applications — from the digitisation service, DigiLocker, to the Covid-19 vaccine registration web portal, CoWIN — has now embarked upon initiatives that include creating digital health IDs and “longitudinal health records” of citizens.

These would be built as a part of repurposed CoWIN and Arogya Setu platforms, a senior executive said.

AWS has been a cloud computing partner for various state and central government agencies in India for scalable, on-demand services in the fields of education, transport, and farming. But when it comes to healthcare, the government is focusing on integrating the portals and platforms that have been operating in silos.

CoWIN, launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has been repurposed into a universal vaccination platform called U-WIN. It may fulfil the vaccination needs of around 100 million people including children between zero and six years of age, pregnant women and lactating mothers.

The platform is already operational and offers 12 other vaccines including diphtheria, Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG), polio, and tetanus, said Pankaj Gupta, leader – public sector enterprises and government, AWS India. “From the moment a child is born, there is a longitudinal health record. We can call this database that maintains a health record that is cradle to grave. It is now also being integrated with platforms centred around maternal and child health. As far as health is concerned, the government of India is looking at a lot of policy intervention,”

A notable addition is the recently launched Poshan Tracker, a national initiative under the National Nutrition Mission. The platform monitors nutrition for the target group of 100 million, encompassing children, expectant women, and lactating mothers. Real-time data is currently sourced from around 1.4 million Anganwadi centres nationwide, Gupta said.

Apart from the health records, AWS is also working on the National Health Authority’s Unified Health Interface (UHI). Gupta said this would create a foundational layer for other app developers, similar to the UPI. The government wants to build a backbone for the public healthcare system through the UHI project.

“Arogya Setu is the first government app, which gives you the ability to create a 14-digit health ID. Users will be able to link all the existing and new health records along with a consent management framework. Today, when you go from one hospital to another, you have to carry all your physical health records. But now there will be no need because it will be all stored in a central repository, the way we had DigiLocker,” Gupta said.

The developments come days after the data governance of the CoWIN platform was under scrutiny due to an alleged leak of user information collected for the Covid-19 vaccination drive during the pandemic. Gupta said health records and repositories under the HealthLocker would work strictly based on user consent for processing their data.

As reported earlier, AWS plans to increase its total investment in India to $16.4 billion by 2030. Public sector business has been a key vertical for the global cloud giant.

Digital drive

– Government working on integration of digital healthcare platforms

– Arogya Setu to offer central repository of health records 

– Revamped CoWIN app now offers 12 more types of vaccinations

– 1.4 million Anganwadi centres recording real-time data for monitoring children, pregnant women

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