Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) has implemented stringent measures in a bid to bolster patient data security, according to Vikram Pagaria, Joint Director of the mission under the National Health Authority, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Speaking about the mission’s commitment to safeguarding patient information, Pagaria highlighted that under the ABDM, when generating the ABHA ID, minimal information is collected from the patient, including name, mobile number, gender, and email ID. Authentication is conducted through any valid ID proof, such as Aadhaar number or driving licence.
ABHA ID can also be created through biometrics or OTP after entering the Aadhaar number, he said.
Pagaria emphasised that patient information is obtained with the patient’s consent, and individuals have the autonomy to decide for how long hospitals or doctors can access their information. Once treatment is completed, the patient’s data is deleted, giving the patient control over the duration of access.
Pagaria noted that patient data is not stored centrally.
Under ABDM, no patient data is retained by the Government or the National Health Authority. The data remains with the hospital only for the duration of the patient’s treatment. Doctors can access the information only with the patient’s consent, he outlined.
He further said that the mission ensures data protection through a comprehensive process. Before joining ABDM, hospitals undergo Web Application Security Assessment (WASA) testing on all systems. Further software updates are carried out under the mission, and hospitals are bound by an undertaking to prevent any misuse of patients’ data.
Pagaria emphasized that strict actions, as per the Digital Personal Data Protection Act 2023, can be taken against hospitals found violating data protection norms.
He said that this mission has been started keeping these data protection and provisions in mind, So that the patient’s health data is not leaked anywhere and cannot be misused.
Pagaria underscored the mission’s dedication to data security, stating that agreement between hospitals and the National Health Authority are thoroughly investigated. The software is scrutinized, and state’s government provide full approval before a hospital is connected under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission.
He highlighted that around 2,50,000 health facilities have been connected so far under the ABDM run by the National Health Authority.
Pagaria said that under this mission, there is no question of the patient’s data being misused or leaked in any way because the data is not being stored with the Government or the National Health Authority, its complete access is only to the patient.
(with inputs from ANI)