NEW DELHI: Having spent 118.2 million on the ambitious National Digital Health Mission (NDHM) so far, the Centre plans to evaluate the outcome of Phase 1 of the project for expansion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the Mission on 15 August last year, following which pilots were launched in union territories of Chandigarh, Ladakh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Lakshadweep.

The health ministry has borne the expenditure of implementing the Mission in six UTs, and the government has issued 9,97,095 health ids under the programme as of 15 March.

The ID allows people to keep track of their health and share data with verified doctors or healthcare providers when needed, after an informed consent, the government claims. There’s also a voluntarily opt-out option, wherein users can erase their data anytime.

“NDHM has been rolled out in 6 UTs initially. The expansion of the same will be take up after evaluation of the outcome during Phase 1 of the project…To promote innovation, participation and built trust, NDHM Sandbox environment has been developed as a closed ecosystem and made live at https://ndhm.gov.in/,” said Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for health and family welfare, told the Lok Sabha on Friday.

The Sandbox allows technologies or products to be tested in a contained environment in compliance with NDHM standards. This helps organisations, including private players, intending to be a part of of the NDHM ecosystem to be a health information provider or health information user.

National Health Authority has initiated awareness campaigns in healthcare facilities through information education and communication (IEC) materials like posters and banners in the six UTs where NDHM pilots have been rolled out.

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