Real time health data in seven states, at the click of a mouse

A hospital in rural India
A hospital in rural India

Union health ministry launches ambitious online platform for monitoring health situation

Government of India, late on Sunday evening did a soft launch of an ambitious disease surveillance platform for seven states.

Union health secretary Preeti Sudan, unveiled the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) segment of Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP). The path-breaking initiative will provide near-real-time data to policy makers for detecting outbreaks, reducing the morbidity and mortality and lessening disease burden in the populations and better health systems.

For effective implementation of the platform, 32,000 people at the block level, 13,000 at the district level and 900 at the state level have been trained

Lack of credible and up to date disease data has long hobbled health policy makers in India. While the pace of data collection has improved remarkably in recent years, there is still very little real time data available. The platform is expected to change that.

A first one-of-its-kind initiative by the Government of India, IHIP uses the latest technologies and digital health initiatives.

Speaking on the occasion, Sudan stated said that the success of this platform will depend primarily on the quality of data shared by the states.

“Data is power and power is to help people,” she said. She urged the state secretaries to be earnest in adopting this platform to strengthen early outbreak detection and informed public health response.

She also added that for effective implementation of the platform, 32,000 people at the block level, 13,000 at the district level and 900 at the state level have been trained.

Sudan, also launched the IHIP vision and a ready-reckoner developed to navigate the platform.

Congratulating the government for making this ambitious undertaking a reality,  Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India said that it is imperative to collaborate with the private sector to ensure the sustainability of this initiative.

“For WHO, it has been a privilege to support the development of the platform in collaboration with numerous government stakeholders,” he added.

Among those present at the launch were Mr Lav Aggarwal, Joint Secretary; Mr Vikas Sheel, Joint Secretary, Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh, Director NCDC; Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India; Dr Ramesh Krishnamurthy, Senior Advisor, WHO HQ; Dr Pradeep Khasnobis, Joint Director, IDSP NCDC and senior officials in the Union Health Ministry. Additional Chief Secretaries/Principal Secretaries (Health) and Mission Directors from the seven states (Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh) participated in the launch through video-conferencing.