To extend accessible, affordable, quality healthcare for its 120-crore population, the Indian government has planned to create a digital repository of each individual’s medical history. This will be done through an Aadhar-linked electronic health record (EHR) that is on par with the worldwide shift towards electronic health system.
For the health insurance sector, a networked database will provide the details to verify the claim made by policyholders, the procedures undergone by patients, etc. It will help to increase transparency and reduce fraudulent claims, according to Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) officials.
For patients, a centralised database ensures they do not have to carry their paper files when visiting or switching hospitals. Additionally, doctors will know the medical history of patients before actually meeting them.
However, it could entail a possibility of premium hikes based on the medical history of the patient who is or will be a policyholder. Moreover, with data sharing, there is a fear of misuse of health records. For instance, accessibility to an employee’s medical records could be a matter of discrimination at the workplace. Therefore, it is necessary for the government to ensure that there is privacy law in place. A robust regulation system would be required to oversee the proper usage of the EHR database.