India gives 1.4 billion people healthcare thanks to technology

Some of the world's best tech talents are working on this ambitious goal.
Loukia Papadopoulos
A doctor with a patient.jpg
A doctor with a patient.


How do you provide cost effective healthcare to a population that is nearly 5 times the size of the US? India is making use of technology to meet this challenge according to a report by Forbes published on Sunday.

The initiative is the project of India’s latest Prime Minister Narendra Modi and it was first introduced in 2018. The launch of “Ayushman Bharat,” the world’s largest free healthcare program, saw the project separated into two sections: the Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs) that focuses on the delivery of comprehensive primary and diagnostic care and Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna (PM-JAY), which provides more than 550 million people with coverage of Rs. 5 lakhs per family, per year, for secondary and tertiary care hospitalizations, reported Forbes.

The initiative is powered by some of the world’s best tech talents who have built the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), which “aims to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country. It will bridge the existing gap amongst different stakeholders of Healthcare ecosystem through digital highways.”

The vision for the ABDM, according to Forbes, is “to create a national digital health ecosystem that supports universal health coverage in an efficient, accessible, inclusive, affordable, timely and safe manner, that provides a wide-range of data, information and infrastructure services, duly leveraging open, interoperable, standards-based digital systems, and ensures the security, confidentiality and privacy of health-related personal information.”

The ABDM brings together healthcare technology companies, government regulators, and care delivery organizations with labs, pharmacies, hospitals, and healthcare providers to all meet one lofty goal: providing adequate healthcare. It also allows for the development of secure health records while also providing easy user interfaces to access care on a daily basis. 

The program was already active in May with the National Health Authority of India announcing that “Over 100 health programs and digital health applications [have completed] their integration with [the] Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission [ecosystem].” adding that: “the growing pool of ABDM integrators signifies the collaborative efforts by the health tech innovators from Government and private sector in making healthcare service delivery more efficient, accessible and affordable for all. We look forward to expanding the ABDM partners ecosystem to take the benefits of digital healthcare delivery to the masses. As more and more companies get integrated, we will be able to achieve interoperability in a true sense.”

In essence, by using technology, India may have been able to do something that the US has failed at: offering healthcare to all its 1.4 billion residents.

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