India’s initiative to set Digital Health Standards

153

National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH) has initiated the work on standards for digital health by setting a committee on digital health standards . This is the first initiative of its kind in the world to accredit digital health providers, and NABH has roped in the top global expert Prof. Rajendra Pratap Gupta to lead this exercise of defining the digital health standards.

Prof. Rajendra has been at the forefront for driving the adoption of digital technologies globally, and played a key role at the World Health Organization (WHO) in drafting the first-ever guidelines for Digital Health released last year. He is also on the core team, which developed the Global Digital Health Index (GDHI) besides being a co-author of the Global eObservatory Report of the WHO. His tenure as the advisor to the Union Health Minister led to path breaking policy initiatives, and his imprint is visible in the major initiatives of the Modi Government as the policy points-man for the Government, who has driven paradigm policy shifts across sectors since 2014. He was also on the nine-member committee entrusted to draft the national education policy.

Prof. Rajendra has global exposure and is known for his innovative and futuristic thinking, and I am sure this committee will set a truly global standard under his leadership, commented one committee member requesting anonymity.

Dr. Atul Mohan Kochhar is the CEO, NABH will serve as a member secretary to the committee, which shows that the committee is a serious focus area for the Government.

The NABH Digital Health Standards aim to consider all relevant aspects of the application of patient interfacing technologies across the continuum of care (for Health & Wellness) applicable for outpatient, inpatient, and remote patient monitoring. It will encompass SOPs and guidelines for standardizing/defining the processes with the overarching goal of ensuring patient safety and quality of care.

Digital Health Standards may also consider; a) standards with regards to legal obligations, interoperability and communication standards, privacy, and data security, remote monitoring, mobile apps, and other associated activities and fields.

The committee comprises experts from across the continuum of care in the field of digital health.

NABH has been leading India’s program for health quality improvement and was established in 2006, and is committed to supporting the improvement of quality of healthcare service in the country for all strata of the population through various methodologies and tools to supplement the efforts of the providers of healthcare service.