AWS and Indian government unveil plan for digital health IDs
A repurposed COVID-19 portal could serve as a single, comprehensive digital health ID for health records, with a proposal from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and India’s central government, reports Business Standard.
AWS supplied the cloud infrastructure for the government’s India Stack applications, which included the biometrics-backed online Covid vaccine registration portal, CoWIN. Now, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has converted CoWIN into a universal vaccination platform called U-WIN.
According to Pankaj Gupta, the leader of public sector enterprises and government for AWS India, the U-WIN platform already offers more than a dozen vaccines, including diphtheria, Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), polio, and tetanus. With AWS’s plan implemented, the platform will expand to create complete digital health IDs and “longitudinal health records,” as well as nutritional trackers for the target population of 100 million, including children, pregnant women and nursing mothers.
“From the moment a child is born, there is a longitudinal health record,” says Gupta. “We can call this database that maintains a health record that is cradle to grave. It is now also being integrated with platforms centered around maternal and child health. As far as health is concerned, the government of India is looking at a lot of policy intervention.”
In addition to the longitudinal health records, AWS is developing the Unified Health Interface (UHI) for the National Health Authority, to establish a UPI-like basic layer for app developers and a digital framework for the public healthcare system.
The first app that can generate a 14-digit health ID, Aarogya Setu, allows users to link new and existing health records with a framework for consent management.
“Today, when you go from one hospital to another, you have to carry all your physical health records,” says Gupta “ But now there will be no need because it will be all stored in a central repository, the way we had DigiLocker.”
The CoWIN platform recently came under scrutiny due to an alleged leak of user data collected for the COVID-19 vaccination drive during the pandemic.